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Surging fuel prices drag car purchases into idle
Last Updated(Beijing Time):2008-09-23 10:02

About 25 percent of China's potential car buyers will postpone their purchase due to surging fuel prices, according to a new survey from Nielsen.

The survey questioned more than 1,500 consumers in China's key cities including Shanghai, Beijing and Guangzhou following an 18-percent price hike on gasoline and diesel fuels from June.

The study discovered 71 percent of respondents did not currently own a car while around a third said they were considering buying one.

However, because of the high oil prices, consumers were reconsidering whether or not to purchase a car, the survey found. A further 22 percent said they were no longer in the market to buy a car.

Nielsen's report showed of those who remained interested in a car purchase, 18 percent were considering a fuel efficient car because of oil price increases, while a quarter said their higher incomes meant they were unaffected by the oil price rise.

"Oil price increases have had an impact on some consumer groups, but consumer demand is still quite strong, particularly among the younger, middle class," said Georgia Zhuang, head of Automotive Research at Nielsen China.

"It is at this critical point where manufacturers need to keep themselves updated on consumers' needs and come up with offers or models that suit them under such a challenging environment," said Zhuang.

The A class car, such as Santana, was the car type most consumers in Shanghai and Beijing said they were considering buying.

About 26 percent of those surveyed said they would buy an A-class sedan, while 17 percent opted for a B-class sedan such as Passat, and 16 percent for an A0 Class such as Volkswagen Polo.

Only 7 percent of people planned to buy an A00 Class such as QQ.

The survey found Shanghai consumers were the least likely to be put off by oil price increases. It found 33 percent said they would go ahead with their car purchase plan soon.

Beijingers tended to be more conservative and had chosen to put their car purchases on hold, while Guangzhou consumers were perhaps the most price sensitive among those surveyed, with 31 percent of consumers deciding that they were no longer in the market.

Source:Shanghai Daily 
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