New report on the automotive preferences of Chinese consumers residing in Canada reveals a strong preference for luxury vehicles.

The Chinese Consumer Automotive Report takes an in-depth look at the automotive preferences of Chinese consumers in Canada.

A new report released by HamazakiWong and Vivintel reveals that there are approximately 1.2 million adults (aged 18+) of Chinese origin living in Toronto and Vancouver; and of those that have resided in Canada for less than 5 years, 52% of have a strong preference for luxury vehicles.

“In the native countries of Chinese Canadians, luxury vehicles are often priced relatively higher due to heavy import taxes. Motivated by status and success, Chinese consumers often pursue these Luxury brands once they settle in Canada,” says Sonny Wong, President & Creative Director of Hamazaki Marketing Group. “It’s not surprising that among newcomers, even Chinese International students and foreign workers, luxury auto brands are in high demand.”

Findings from the study include:

Automotive Preferences:

  • Compared to 23% of the general population in Toronto and Vancouver, a projected 40% of Chinese adults agree with the statement “Given a choice, I would always choose a luxury automobile”; this rate of agreement jumps to 52% among those that arrived in Canada within the past 5 years.
  • Of the 1.2 million Chinese consumers in Toronto and Vancouver, 1 in 3 are willing to pay more for brands and products that “elevate their status”.
  • Compared to the general adult living in Toronto and Vancouver, Chinese adults are nearly 2 times more likely to own a Mercedes, 4 times more likely to own a BMW, and 5 times more likely to own a Porsche.
  • But luxury isn’t the be all and end all. While Chinese consumers are more likely than the general population to seek out and own luxury vehicles, a large proportion still pursue practicality and reliability with Toyota and Honda as the most owned.
  • The longer their residency in Canada, the preference for a safe and fuel-efficient vehicle becomes more pronounced.

Tech, Media & Language:

  • Chinese consumers are generally more tech-savvy than the average Canadian adult. They are more likely to own any smart device and nearly 2 times more likely to own a smart watch or smart speaker.
  • At 3 hours a day, Chinese consumers spend nearly an hour more online via a mobile device than the average Canadian; with Facebook, WeChat and Instagram as their top 3 social media platforms.
  • In a world of digital, traditional still plays a role. Among legacy media for those in the market for a luxury vehicle, magazines and newspapers index higher than radio and TV.
  • A majority of Chinese adults that have resided in Canada for less than 5 years agree with the statements, “I pay more attention to advertising that is in my own ethnic language” (56%), “I feel closer to companies that advertise in my own ethnic language” (54%); indicating the importance of in-language marketing to connect with newcomers.

‘The Chinese Consumer Automotive Report’ by Hamazaki Wong is based on results from Vivintel’s ‘Insights into the Chinese Consumer Study’; a survey of 2,502 participants in Toronto and Vancouver that identified as having Chinese origins. This study delves into the Chinese community’s demographic profiles, media habits, shopping behaviour, opinions and more, helping to shed light on how this vibrant community is quickly becoming an ever more vital thread in the fabric of Canada.

The sample for the study consisted not just of those born in Canada or holding a Canadian citizenship, but also surveyed Chinese international students, those on an international co-op or internship, permanent residents, and those residing in Canada on a temporary work permit. The survey excludes Chinese visitors to Canada.


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