A comprehensive market survey conducted lately by Visteon, a leading global automotive supplier in China, indicates that Chinese consumers are more discerning than expected in their insights for vehicle interior craftsmanship, quite different from those of American or European consumers, according to a company news release.
“Chinese consumers have experienced profound changes in their auto craftsmanship preferences over the past years,” said Thomas Li, Visteo’s senior marketing manager in Asia-Pacific region. “Now they are becoming more confident in exhibiting their oriental tastes different from that of Western people.”
During the over 9-month survey with 120 respondents in Shanghai, Beijing and Guangzhou, Visteon gained valuable insights into Chinese consumers’ perception of vehicle craftsmanship through both qualitative and quantitative researches. The survey focused on five segments of most popular vehicles in China: small cars, family cars, mid- to high-end luxury cars, MPVs and SUVs.
The key findings on Chinese consumers’ perceptions include the importance of overall interior harmony in technological solutions, materials, as well as fit and finish. Naturally, consumers’ demands and tastes for craftsmanship within a car vary greatly in relation to the types of vehicles and brands they are interested in, which may potentially influence their purchase decisions.
On the whole the trendy and unique design style of a car with classical elements is appreciated by Chinese consumers. In judging a car they are interested in, Chinese consumers would usually pay close attention to its integrity of interior craftsmanship with central console, instruments panel and steering wheel controls. Practical performance of a car is more important than interior luxuries. To match the car brand’s feature, costly materials like luxury themes of wood, metal and leather are not necessary for some low-end vehicles.
However, Chinese consumers are knowledgeable and appreciative of high-tech electronics. High-end car users are very particular about some advanced consuming electronic equipment, such as satellite navigation systems and multifunctional human-machine interfaces (HMI), etc. While obtaining high awareness of manufacturing technologies and processes preferring for smooth surface transitions with pleasant touch and feel, they would certainly reject immature technologies whatsoever.
To capture new trends and anticipate consumers’ satisfaction, Visteon has worked hard in investigating consumers’ perceptions of interior craftsmanship, leading to various innovations in automotive interiors. The X-wave technology launched last year consisted of over 50 items of innovation, particularly in electronics advances. The other two technical solutions of integrated navigation system and in-vehicle family entertainment system (FES) have all been put on new vehicles either in China or in Europe.
“Visteon will share details of these findings with auto manufacturers to help them tailor auto interiors to meet the desires of Chinese consumers,” Li added. He believes that such valuable findings will also guide Visteo’s future product development and technical innovation on the China market.