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      10-05-2005, 01:38 AM   #1
icedragon
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BMW's dominance in Asia and why Asians love white cars

BMW is not only popular in North America, Europe, and South Africa, it also has a strong presence in Asia. When I last visited Hong Kong, I recall seeing many BMWs (particularly 3-series). Furthermore, last year, J.D. Power and Associates conducted a survey in collaboration with a Japanese firm to determine Japan's "most-admired" car brand. Guess what? The "most-admired" brand was not Toyota, it was BMW. Now u must understand, traditional Japanese culture considered everyone to be middle-class. No one was supposed to be better. However, Japanese values have clearly shifted. In response, this year, Toyota launched its Lexus nameplate in Japan. Yes, Lexus has existed in various parts of the world for a while and yet it was non-existant in Japan.

So my question is, how do u think BMW has achieved its Asian dominance?
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      10-05-2005, 01:40 AM   #2
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While we're on this topic, I thought I should mention why Asians (particulaly Japanese people) love white cars. First of all, in Japan, people value the cherry blossom tree, with it's white petals and cherry-pink flowers. So that's why they like white cars. You may have seen several white Subaru Imprezas with cherry-pink badges. Well, now u now what that symbolizes.
Secondly, Asian people are OBSESSED with having pale-white skin. In fact, many American cosmetic companies market special "skin-whitening" products in Asia. So why the obsession? It's about perceived socio-economic status. In the past, poorer people who worked on rice fields would develop dark tans. The wealthier people who worked in buildings would have pale-white skin. Of course, this is no longer the case in modern Asian society, but it's an old stereotype that has carried on. This also explains why u may have seen some older Asian ladies wearing huge sun visors and carrying UV-blocking umbrellas. I think they would die if they got a freckle.
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      10-05-2005, 01:50 AM   #3
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I believe there are a lot of BMW's in Taiwan also.
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      10-05-2005, 01:54 AM   #4
icedragon
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For those that don't know, China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan are separate. China is communist and Hong Kong and Taiwan are special democratic regions.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RyBMW
I believe there are a lot of BMW's in Taiwan also.
Oh I'm sure there are plenty in Taiwan.
But not in China though. Audi dominates the Chinese luxury market. For now.
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      10-05-2005, 01:57 AM   #5
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I was reading this article about how in China, they perceive Buick as a luxurious vehicle that the rich and famous drive. The article was in a Buick magazine. I wonder how true that is.
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      10-05-2005, 01:59 AM   #6
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There're lots of BMW in Thailand also.....
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      10-05-2005, 04:45 AM   #7
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Hong Kong people love anything European lol. Merc's, Bimmer's, Porsche's...

Oh and btw - white is not so a popular color over here
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      10-05-2005, 04:59 AM   #8
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lots of Bimmers in Singapore too. Black is the most popular color.
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      10-05-2005, 05:21 AM   #9
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Chinese will not buy Japanese cars because of Japanese invasion of China and Japanese attrocities against Chinese people in World War II.
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      10-05-2005, 06:29 AM   #10
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There are some BMWs in Korea too, well, they're in their dramas anyway.
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      10-05-2005, 06:43 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pharding
Chinese will not buy Japanese cars because of Japanese invasion of China and Japanese attrocities against Chinese people in World War II.
How do you know this? That is absolutely not true, at least among the Taiwanese, people of HK and Koreans that I know (and I know plenty since I'm from the region and am Chinese). I can't speak for people from China, but I'm willing to bet that most don't care whether the car is from Japan or not as long as the car is good. Have you ever been to these places? There are PLENTY of Japanese cars there, outnumbering German and American cars in most cases.
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      10-05-2005, 06:44 AM   #12
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Need more proof of the affinity for white cars?!

Looks nice to have so many the same color cruising down the road.

http://www.e90post.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1502
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      10-05-2005, 07:44 AM   #13
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I'm a twinkie (ABC - American born Chinese and I'm married to an ABK - American born Korean) and have worked in Singapore, Korea, Hongkong, Taiwan, and China. Here's my thoughts.

As a general rule, Asians love brands, both in Asia and the american born. LV, Gucci, Prada, Coach are big names for the asian female. Us men obviously love BMW, Mercs, Infiniti, Lexus, Acura, etc. I'm willing to bet that our brand consiousness is mirrored by the members of this board.

As for Asia -
True about the pale skin, but it does not necessarily carry over to cars.

Korea - 95% of cars are domestic - Korean cars and Black. The duties to buy a foreign car is very high there, so its not just domestic pride at work. The rich will buy Mercedes, BMW. There were so many black cars in Korea that any other color just stood out. I saw a couple porsches here and there.

Hong Kong - Truly a luxury car capital of the world. Statistically, there are more rolls and bentleys in this city per mile than any other. The rich chinese know how to flaunt it. Cars of all colors - saw a lot of BMW, Mercedes, Porsches, Bentleys, Ferraris, Lotus.

Singapore - Also a lot of luxury cars - Rich city/state. Ferraris and Porsches dominate. There a good track that is right over the bridge in Malaysia and a lot of racers go there on the weekends.

China - Emerging rich. BMW is viewed as a younger brand and Mercs are the older luxury brand. Lots of controversy in the local media as to rich/poor communist vs capitalism. One article that came out a couple of years ago depicted a rich chinese woman in her BMW getting pissed at a turnip truck/cart on the highway. The turnip truck occupant were laughing at the rich woman and threw a turnip at the windshield. BMW woman loses it and runs over the turnip truck/cart and severely injures the old poor phesant woman. Article was obviously decrying against the rich & arrogant "BMW driver"

Japan - All sorts of cars & models that are not imported to the states. The rich & upwardly mobile love BMW & Mercedes (not unlike the states). Difference is that BMW and Mercedes are priced much higher. There is a view that the more something costs, the higher quality it is. Lexus has just been introduced as the Toyota luxury brand and initial results are very good. The racers and people who like to mod their cars drive white, otherwise, There was no particular affinity to white cars that I can remember. Hmm - Maybe I'll look for it again when I go back to Tokyo later this year. I distinctly remeber seeing a red Z06 Corvette in Shinjuku that stood out.
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      10-05-2005, 07:48 AM   #14
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Oh - and as for Buick. Apparently before China turned communist, Buick had a very good market with the government officials (the ruling elite). So the older folks remember Buick as a stately/conservative brand. GM is trying to keep the brand marketed this way. Younger and especially the new rich go for the European,ie. German luxury marks.
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      10-05-2005, 08:19 AM   #15
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MCS speaks with understanding.
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      10-05-2005, 10:09 AM   #16
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LOL...asians dont love "white cars", we love what ever color looks good on that car
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      10-05-2005, 10:23 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MCS
Hong Kong - Truly a luxury car capital of the world. Statistically, there are more rolls and bentleys in this city per mile than any other. The rich chinese know how to flaunt it. Cars of all colors - saw a lot of BMW, Mercedes, Porsches, Bentleys, Ferraris, Lotus.
As a matter of fact, Hong Kong has the most Rolls-Royce's per capita than anywhere in the world.
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      10-05-2005, 02:40 PM   #18
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I am Asian and I was gonna get a AW 330i, but I wouldn't say that we love white cars. White is a clean, classy color that stands out. A lot of us like to stand out, especially to our other Asian friends. That may be why a lot of us like white cars.
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      10-05-2005, 03:01 PM   #19
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From my own personal experience I've heard the white is very popular in Japan. My previous car was a pearl white 2000 Lexus GS300. The person who bought the car buys used cars in the US and ships them back for auction in Japan. He told me (of course after we agreed on price for my car) that he specifically looks for white Lexus because the of name brand, which as someone mentioned earlier - Lexus is or has not been available in Japan, and it's white. [Dang! I should've held out for a lot higher price!]
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      10-05-2005, 11:16 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pharding
Chinese will not buy Japanese cars because of Japanese invasion of China and Japanese attrocities against Chinese people in World War II.

Will Jewish people buy BMWs?
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      10-05-2005, 11:45 PM   #21
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I'm Asian, white looks fairly good, but definitely not one of my top choices. I'd choose blue, silver, gray/graphite and black over white easily.
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      10-05-2005, 11:53 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by icedragon
Furthermore, last year, J.D. Power and Associates conducted a survey in collaboration with a Japanese firm to determine Japan's "most-admired" car brand. Guess what? The "most-admired" brand was not Toyota, it was BMW.
Hey guess what? Americans "most-admired" car brand is not FORD.......
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