New York, New York – The Japanese earthquake is having an effect on U.S. consumers, with 25 per cent of those surveyed less likely to purchase automotive brands from Japan or Korea, according to a survey by market research company TNS.
The survey asked respondents to identify the brands they felt would be most affected by the catastrophe. Toyota ranked the highest among Japanese brands, with 63 per cent feeling it would be the most affected, followed by Honda (47 per cent), Mitsubishi (43 per cent), Nissan (43 per cent) and Mazda (30 per cent). At 26 per cent, Subaru received the least number of concerns.
Surprisingly, Korea’s Hyundai and Kia were mentioned by 21 per cent of respondents as being affected. “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,” said William Bruno, vice-president of TNS. “Subaru, on the other hand, may be more strongly perceived as having domestic manufacturing locations.”
Those who said they are less likely to consider purchasing Asian brands following the earthquake cited the perceived notion of limited parts availability, an overall increase in the price of the car, and with the shortage, a corresponding rise in parts prices.