Tustin, California – A new study shows that many U.S. buyers are almost as likely to buy a car made in China or India as they are one from Korea, according to auto research firm AutoPacific.

Of those surveyed, 15 per cent would consider buying their next vehicle from China, while 11 per cent would consider a car from India, without knowing specific brands or vehicles. This compares with 16 per cent who said they would consider a vehicle from Korea, which has been marketing vehicles in the U.S. since the 1980s.

The study, Opportunity for Chinese and Indian Brands in the USA, is based on a national survey of more than 30,000 new-car and -truck buyers.

“As Hyundai and Kia have been on the American scene for decades now, it’s surprising that consideration for Chinese and Indian brands, sight unseen, would be about as strong as it is for the Korean brands,” said George Peterson, president of AutoPacific. “However, with so many premium and high-tech non-automotive products already being made in China and purchased by Americans, why not automobiles too? It appears that buyers in America are willing to give Chinese and Indian vehicles a chance right out of the box. Understanding these consumers will be critically important to the success of any newcomer.”

The study showed those willing to consider Chinese or Indian brands are more likely to currently own Japanese and Korean brands, indicating that these brands may have the most competition from the new entries, rather than Ford, Chrysler and General Motors. The study also revealed that while those who would consider a car from China or India rate reliability and durability high, they are not as interested in vehicle dynamics such as handling, braking or acceleration.

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