German firms need image overhaul in key China market | Business| Economy and finance news from a German perspective | DW | 02.04.2013
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German firms need image overhaul in key China market

As German firms increasingly rely on Chinese markets for future growth, their image needs dramatic improvement, a study has found. Top product quality is losing its shine in light of poor service and arrogant attitudes.

An overwhelming 94-percent majority of Chinese customers of German firms lamented a lack of consideration for their product wishes, a representative survey released by German firm Staufen on Tuesday showed.

In addition, one out of two Chinese considered German managers' business attitudes as arrogant, and 84 percent of those polled said the service offered by German companies gave room for improvement, the consultancy group said.

The result would clearly show that German companies operating in China must no longer rest on their past laurels, Staufen Chief Executive Markus Franz told a news conference in Köngen, Germany.

"The competitive environment of China's fast-growing markets requires intensified efforts from German companies to identify their own weaknesses and remove them," he added.

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Chinese Tourists love the "Made in Germany" label.

Even though German products were considered as too expensive by two out of three Chinese customers, the survey said, some 97 percent of them cherished the top quality and reliability of products made in Germany. However, some 41 percent of those polled said that Germany would likely lose its quality edge to Chinese manufacturers in the future.

In spite of the negative image of German firms, companies from the United States and domestic Chinese companies were faring even worse in the survey. On a list gauging product quality and service standards, German companies gained 8.3 points out of a maximum number of 10 points. US companies achieved a performance of 7.7 points, while Chinese firms were ranked third with just 6.6 points.

uhe/hc (dpa, AFP)

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