The retail side of China's auto industry has traditionally been rather crude. While in developed markets a lot of emphasis is placed on customer service as the dealer is the first physical point of contact between carmaker and client, Chinese dealers focus on revenue.
"They are not looking at it in terms of service," says Philip Coquelle, director of automotive research at ACNielsen China. "You really notice this when you talk to consumers--they don't see any differentiation. This means the customer may buy one car but the next time they don't buy the same brand."
This is unsurprising given the immaturity of the market. Car penetration is still only 6 percent nationwide and 19 percent in the key consumption zones of Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou.
However, as the market develops and consumers become wealthier are exposed to a wider range of choices, the relationship between manufacturer and driver will become more and more important.
Source: Business Week, http://businessweek.com
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