NEW YORK, April 14, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Over twenty-five percent of U.S. consumers surveyed, report being less likely to purchase automotive brands from Japan or Korea, a strong opinion that is gaining traction since the earthquake and tsunami catastrophe that struck the Japan region in March.
The survey, conducted earlier this month by TNS, a global leader in market information, asked respondents to identify which brands they felt would be the most impacted by the natural catastrophe. Toyota ranked the highest among Japanese brands with 63% feeling it would be the most impacted. Honda (47%), Mitsubishi (43%), Nissan (43%) and Mazda (30%) comprised the top five. Subaru received the least mentions of being impacted (26%). Surprisingly, Hyundai/Kia, a Korean manufacturer, was mentioned by 21% of the respondents as being impacted. "There may be some confusion on the part of the average U.S. consumer that these brands are Japanese instead of Korean, or have manufacturing locations in the region impacted by the disaster," says William Bruno, Vice President for TNS. "Subaru, on the other hand, may be more strongly perceived as having domestic manufacturing locations."
The concerns of the U.S. consumer, highlighted by this study, are translating into reduced purchase consideration of impacted brands; twenty-seven percent of consumers surveyed said they are less likely to consider purchasing these brands. The major concerns lies in the perceived notion of limited availability of parts (46%), as well as an overall increase in price of the car (37%) and the idea that with the shortage, the price of parts will also increase (36%). "As impacted manufacturers work through solutions to the manufacturing and supply chains issues caused by the disaster, it will be important to clearly communicate these to consumers in the U.S. market," says Bruno. "Those brands that have not been impacted by the disaster should be sure to reaffirm this with their target customers through advertising and dealer communications programs."
TNS is the global leader in custom market research delivering actionable insights and research-based business advice to clients around the globe so they can make more effective business decisions. TNS offers comprehensive industry knowledge within the Consumer, Technology, Finance, Automotive and Political & Social sectors, supported by a unique product offering that stretches across the entire range of marketing and business issues, specializing in product development & innovation, brand & communication, stakeholder management, retail & shopper, and qualitative research. Delivering best-in-class service across more than 80 countries, TNS is dedicated to discovering growth opportunities for its clients in an ever-changing world. Through its pioneering and innovative culture, TNS understands the latest marketing challenges and research techniques, being the first to discover and solve new marketing issues for clients.
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