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Car Model Preferences - China - March 2015

“The new passenger car market in China has experienced a significant leap in the past few years. As a consequence, the market has become more sophisticated and complex than ever. Consumers are also becoming more diversified in their needs for cars. This requires businesses to adopt different marketing methods to target each individual.


Today’s car buyers are shifting from using their car to reflect their personal success toward demonstrating their personality, indicating that consumers are likely to have different needs when they choose car models. Automakers and marketers need to use targeted marketing instead of a one-size-fit-all approach to target subdivided consumer segments. Lack of knowledge about specific car safety features also means there is an opportunity for manufacturers to influence their choice”

– Yujing Li, Senior Research Analyst

This report addresses the following key topics:

  • Why SUV models are popular in China?
  • How to target different types of car buyers?
  • Raising awareness of the importance of active safety functions

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Table of contents

  1. Introduction

      • Definition
          • Figure 1: Classification standards of basic passenger cars, February 2015
          • Figure 2: Classification standards of SUVs (sport utility vehicles), February 2015
        • Methodology
          • Abbreviations
          • Executive Summary

              • The market
                • Figure 3: China total volume new passenger car sales forecast, 2009-19
                • Figure 4: New passenger car market share, by car type segment, 2010-14
              • Companies and brands
                • Figure 5: Top 10 new passenger car brand market share, by volume, 2013-14
              • The consumer
                • It’s essential to raise consumer awareness towards active safety functions
                  • Figure 6: Safety functions important to consumers in choosing which car to buy, December 2014
                • Consumers’ desire for design features changes with age and income
                  • Figure 7: Design features important to consumers in choosing which car to buy, December 2014
                • Consumer preference evolving with the development of technology
                  • Figure 8: Technology functions important to consumers in choosing which car to buy, December 2014
                • Consumers attitude towards car model preference
                  • Figure 9: Selected consumer attitudes towards car model preference, December 2014
                  • Figure 10: Selected consumer attitudes towards car model preference, December 2014
                • Consumers’ attitudes towards cars
                  • Figure 11: Consumer attitudes towards cars, December 2014
                • Key issues
                  • Why SUV models are popular in China
                    • How to target different types of car buyers?
                      • Raising awareness of the importance of having active safety functions
                        • What we think
                        • Issues and Insights

                            • Why SUV models are popular in China?
                              • The facts
                                • The implications
                                  • How to target different types of car buyers?
                                    • The facts
                                      • The implications
                                        • Raising awareness of the importance of active safety functions
                                          • The facts
                                            • The implications
                                                • Figure 12: Safety functions important to consumers who aren’t satisfied with current safety features in choosing which car to buy, December 2014
                                            • Trend Application

                                                • Green and Lean
                                                  • The Suite Life
                                                    • Life Hacking
                                                    • Market Size and Forecast

                                                      • Key points
                                                        • Overview of the car market in China
                                                          • Figure 13: Total volume sales of new and second-hand cars, 2009-14
                                                        • Growth of new passenger car market is slowing down
                                                            • Figure 14: China total volume new passenger car sales forecast, 2009-19
                                                          • Methodology
                                                            • Market drivers
                                                              • Urbanisation
                                                                • Development of car financing products
                                                                  • New consumer segments to target
                                                                    • Consumer attitude towards SUVs and MPVs has changed
                                                                      • Growth challenges
                                                                      • Market Segmentation

                                                                        • Key points
                                                                          • Passenger car market changes dramatically in last three years
                                                                            • Figure 15: New passenger car market share, by car type, 2010-14
                                                                          • The performance of different car types
                                                                            • Basic passenger cars
                                                                              • Figure 16: Top 10 best-selling basic passenger cars, by sales volume, 2014
                                                                            • Sports Utility Vehicles
                                                                              • Figure 17: Top 10 best-selling sports utility vehicles, by sales volume, 2014
                                                                            • Multiple Use Vehicles
                                                                              • Cross-type passenger vehicles
                                                                              • Market Share

                                                                                • Key points
                                                                                  • Passenger car brand shares
                                                                                    • Figure 18: Leading companies’ market shares in the China car market, by volume (%), 2012-14
                                                                                  • American brands are doing well
                                                                                    • Figure 19: Top ten basic passenger car models, by sales volume, 2012-14
                                                                                    • Figure 20: Top ten SUV models, by sales volume, 2012-14
                                                                                  • Why Volkswagen hasn’t increased its share further in 2014
                                                                                    • Why Japanese brands are still losing market share
                                                                                      • Why domestic brands are losing market share
                                                                                        • Figure 21: Perception of different types of cars, by car type, December 2014
                                                                                    • Who's Innovating?

                                                                                      • Key points
                                                                                        • The fusion of digital technology and green energy
                                                                                          • Automakers are working with internet giants
                                                                                            • More actions are taken to promote electric vehicles
                                                                                              • Automakers are targeting female consumers
                                                                                                • Virtual mascot is also be used in automotive marketing
                                                                                                • Companies and Brands

                                                                                                  • BMW Group
                                                                                                    • Mercedes-Benz
                                                                                                      • General Motors
                                                                                                        • Volkswagen Group
                                                                                                          • Toyota
                                                                                                            • Nissan
                                                                                                              • Hyundai Group
                                                                                                                • Great Wall
                                                                                                                  • BYD
                                                                                                                  • The Consumer – Preference of Car Safety Functions

                                                                                                                    • Key points
                                                                                                                      • It’s essential to raise consumer awareness of active safety functions
                                                                                                                        • Figure 22: Safety functions important to consumers in choosing which car to buy, December 2014
                                                                                                                      • High earners and lower earners have different views towards safety functions
                                                                                                                        • Figure 23: Safety functions important to consumers in choosing which car to buy, by monthly personal income, December 2014
                                                                                                                        • Figure 24: Factors important to consumers in choosing which car to buy, August 2013 and June 2014
                                                                                                                      • Win by unique and practical safety functions
                                                                                                                      • The Consumer – Preference of Car Design Features

                                                                                                                        • Key points
                                                                                                                          • Design features that can be flaunted easily are most desired
                                                                                                                            • Figure 25: Design features important to consumers in choosing which car to buy, December 2014
                                                                                                                          • Males are more likely to be picky in terms of design features
                                                                                                                            • Figure 26: Design features important to consumers in choosing which car to buy, by gender, December 2014
                                                                                                                            • Figure 27: Design features important to male consumers in choosing which car to buy, by age, December 2014
                                                                                                                          • Potential spending power from female consumers
                                                                                                                            • Figure 28: Design features important to consumers in choosing which car to buy, by gender and age, December 2014
                                                                                                                          • High income consumers are showing preferences for subtle quality
                                                                                                                            • Figure 29: Design features important to consumers in choosing which car to buy, by monthly personal income, December 2014
                                                                                                                        • The Consumer – Preference of Car Technology Functions

                                                                                                                          • Key points
                                                                                                                            • Convenience and intelligence are the key components
                                                                                                                              • Figure 30: Technology functions important to consumers in choosing which car to buy, December 2014
                                                                                                                            • Consumers in their 40s are seeking more convenience
                                                                                                                              • Figure 31: Technology functions important to consumers in choosing which car to buy, by age, December 2014
                                                                                                                            • Connect vehicles to consumers’ life via digital technology
                                                                                                                            • The Consumer – Attitude towards Car Model Preference

                                                                                                                              • Key points
                                                                                                                                • Country of production has huge impact on car model preference
                                                                                                                                  • Figure 32: Consumer attitudes towards car model preference, origin of the marques related, December 2014
                                                                                                                                • Endless safety concerns from Chinese consumers
                                                                                                                                  • Figure 33: Consumer attitudes towards car model preference, car safety related, December 2014
                                                                                                                                  • Figure 34: Agreement with the statement ‘The safety functions available can satisfy my needs’, December 2014
                                                                                                                                • Consumers with lower income are willing to learn more before purchasing
                                                                                                                                  • Figure 35: Consumer attitudes towards car model preference, by car configuration related, by monthly personal income, December 2014
                                                                                                                                • SUV gains popularity because it satisfies various needs
                                                                                                                                  • Figure 36: Consumer attitudes towards car model preference, by SUV related, December 2014
                                                                                                                                • Consumers’ perceptions associated with different types of cars
                                                                                                                                  • Figure 37: Correspondence map of different types of cars, December 2014
                                                                                                                                  • Figure 38: Perception of different types of car, December 2014
                                                                                                                                • Domestic brands are strongly associated with good value for money
                                                                                                                                  • Imported cars
                                                                                                                                    • International brands manufactured domestically
                                                                                                                                    • The Consumer – Attitude towards Cars

                                                                                                                                      • Key points
                                                                                                                                        • Use proper channels to communicate with consumers
                                                                                                                                          • Figure 39: Selected consumer attitudes towards cars, December 2014
                                                                                                                                        • Cars are considered a way to demonstrate individuality
                                                                                                                                          • Figure 40: Selected consumer attitudes towards cars, December 2014
                                                                                                                                        • Vehicles are no longer tools only for daily commutes
                                                                                                                                          • Figure 41: Selected consumer attitudes towards cars, December 2014
                                                                                                                                          • Figure 42: Disagreement with the statement ‘Having a car that can meet my daily commute needs (eg comfortable to drive, easy to park) is enough for me’, December 2014
                                                                                                                                        • More chances for upgrade consumption
                                                                                                                                          • Figure 43: Selected consumer attitudes towards cars, December 2014
                                                                                                                                      • The Consumer – Similarities and Differences between Consumers from Tier One, Two and Three Cities

                                                                                                                                        • Key points
                                                                                                                                          • Current ownership
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 44: Consumer car ownership status, by city tier, December 2014
                                                                                                                                          • Future purchase intention
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 45: Consumer intention to buy a car, by city tier, December 2014
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 46: Consumer intention to buy a car, by city, December 2014
                                                                                                                                        • Appendix – Market Size

                                                                                                                                            • Figure 47: Total volume sales of new passenger cars, by segment, 2009-14

                                                                                                                                        Companies Covered

                                                                                                                                        To learn more about the companies covered in this report please contact us.

                                                                                                                                        Car Model Preferences - China - March 2015

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