Maintaining the brand DNA – how international car manufacturers adapt to local taste

Mingzhu (Amy) Qi
Sinotrust Marketing Research and Consulting Ltd, China

INTRODUCTION

Research Context

Since 1997, China's economy has grown more than 50%, according to the Economist Intelligence Unit. While the rapid economic growth has brought with it a boom in the economy, it has also created greater social stratification. Between the poor and the rich a new middle class has emerged, changing China's social and economic structure. The spending power of the new middle class has created a huge demand for family cars. Private consumption dominates the new passenger car market. According to China State Information Center's forecast, the percentage of private passenger car consumption will further increase (see Figure 1). Private vehicle consumption definitely will bring about changes in vehicle consumption features. Understanding vehicle consumption preferences and the psychology of Chinese consumers is becoming more and more important to international automakers.