Americans Admit They Would Buy Chinese or Indian Cars
Obviously, the news is a bit surprising given the fact that Americans have always been attracted by cars produced by US-based automakers. Furthermore, two of the largest American manufacturers, General Motors and Chrysler stepped under Chapter 11 protection, so buying a locally-built car would be useful for both the companies in question and for the local economy.
"As Hyundai and Kia have been on the American scene for decades now, it's surprising that consideration for Chinese and Indian brands, sight unseen, would be about as strong as it is for the Korean brands," said George Peterson, president of automotive research firm AutoPacific and author of the study.
"However, with so many premium and high-tech non-automotive products already being made in China and purchased by Americans, why not automobiles too? It appears that buyers in America are willing to give Chinese and Indian vehicles a chance right out of the box. Understanding these consumers will be critically important to the success of any newcomer."
What do people want from a car built in China or India? Well, most of the respondents said reliability and durability are excellent on these vehicles and admitted they are not interested in handling, braking or acceleration.
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The export version (slightly modified Indian version) has passed European NCAP crash tests with flying colours. It is expected to attain a 4 star EuroNCAP safety rating.
There have been some rants in the US about the Nano not being safe on US highways. However the reality is that the Nano is much safer to drive in than for example a 2008 Ford Ranger (L150) pickup which achieved a 2 star EuroNCAP rating in 2008.
2008 Ford Ranger EuroNCAP test - EuroNCAP crash test rating achieved = 2 star
2009 Tata Nano EuroNCAP test - EuroNCAP crash test rating anticipated = 4 star