Ford Authority

Gen Z And Millennials Would Consider Chinese EVs: Survey

As Ford works to develop a low-cost EV platform set to underpin multiple – and affordable – future all-electric models, it’s also keeping an eye on cheap Chinese EVs, which are already on sale in various markets around the globe. Though that list doesn’t include the U.S. – at least for now – concerns that cheap Chinese EVs could one day reach those shores and undercut domestic models remain, and a recent study found that most Americans would in fact buy them if they were cheaper than rivals. Now, another study has taken more of a generational look at that topic.

BYD Seagull - Exterior 002 - Side

This new study was conducted by AutoPacific, and found that 35 percent of 800 respondents aged 18-80 would consider purchasing a Chinese vehicle in general if they were sold in the U.S. However, when we break it down by age group, these results paint a far different picture, as 76 percent of respondents under the age of 40 said they would consider buying a vehicle from a Chinese brand, while only 26 percent of those 60 and older are willing to consider one.

“A surprising number of American consumers are familiar with Chinese car brands even though none are sold here currently. This is especially true among savvy Millennials and Gen Z, who would be the most likely to consider acquiring a vehicle from a Chinese brand,” said Ed Kim, President and Chief Analyst at AutoPacific. “Privacy concerns about Chinese-brand vehicles are likely to eventually subside given that most of the connected smartphones, smart watches, laptops, connected home devices we are comfortable using every day are in fact manufactured in China.”

BYD Seagull - Exterior 003 - Rear

These responses seem to validate the aforementioned concerns from automakers and the U.S. government alike, as everyone from Ford CEO Jim Farley to Tesla CEO Elon Musk and Marin Gjaja, COO of Ford Model e, have called cheap Chinese EVs major threats to their respective businesses. Amid those concerns and others revolving around national security threats, the Biden Administration recently chose to quadruple tariffs on imported Chinese EVs, as well as raise tariffs on other components such as batteries, a move that drew praise from the Ford-backed lobby group Alliance for Automotive Innovation.

We’ll have more on the topic of Chinese EVs soon, so be sure and subscribe to Ford Authority for 24/7 Ford news coverage.

Brett's lost track of all the Fords he's owned over the years and how much he's spent modifying them, but his current money pits include an S550 Mustang and 13th gen F-150.

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  1. anonymous guest

    Brett, it’s worth a deep dive into who, in the western world, have stakes in PRoC automakers.

    Younger generations have life-long been pied-pipered with astroturf campaigns. And there’s always more older generation sell-outs than let on in surveys.

    1. John

      I think in the case of younger generations now, it’s more about what they can POSSIBLY buy given the current economy. Imagine just getting out of college this week to try and find a job. The average house is almost $500k and the average new vehicle price is about $50k and interest rates are relatively high. They simply can’t afford to buy new things when the prices and economic bar has been set by the Boomers, the largest and wealthiest generation in known human history. The Boomers have had DECADES of wealth building as a head start and there are so many of them, the economy is priced at their affordability levels.

      1. Nautical-one345

        I agree with you completely.

  2. John

    Younger people want and NEED lower priced vehicles than all these overpriced ugly cars that they can’t afford in the current marketplace and economy. Who knew?!?!?!

    I still think a very low cost “new age pony car” based on an economy platform would sell like crazy to Gen Z. I’m not talking about replacing the new Mustang and maybe calling it a pony car is a stretch, but a different, smaller, more affordable model beneath Mustang that looks great. I see MANY of them out driving old Mustangs and other old pony cars. If you just took an economy car and gave it cool styling instead of making it look dorky, it would sell to these kids. How expensive are stylish fascias, bumpers, and maybe a hood scoop? Gen Z WANTS pony cars, but they can’t afford new ones.

    1. anonymous guest

      The pony segment should have stayed closer to what the S197 was. I’ve mentioned giving a Fairmont another go, affordability with fun will be needed. Hopped-up fwd econobox’s would ring flat again, US is not Europe.

      Protectionism works for Japan, they may be showing the way. The US needs to discard energy & green policies that eliminate using the cheap right tool for a job with the expensive tool for a job. Those BYD vehicle can’t be what they’re cracked up to be.

  3. John Rouse

    I agree that there are very few desirable choices for low priced new cars, but I am annoyed that despite all that has been discussed about Chinese governmental support for their domestic EV business and openly stated plans to use these measures to dominate and eliminate Western competition, that a segment of our population chooses to ignore this- again, placing their immediate gratification ahead of legitimate long term issues. If China were to succeed, how many of these young people would then be complaining about the lack of well-compensated factory jobs for them?

    1. John

      Good points, but didn’t the older generations do this already with Japanese car companies?

      Also, maybe one of the biggest issues facing the world is all the retirement money that Boomers have entrusted to managers like Blackrock, Vanguard, and State Street. They literally own and control everything now. It’s clear that the path forward for them to continue to grow is having laws passed around the world at the expense of younger generations’ freedoms under the umbrella of climate change and the green agenda, all to prop up Boomer 401k’s and pensions (which are massively overvalued at this point), as well as grow their own control/power/wealth, of course.

      “You’ll own nothing and you’ll be happy” is what the youth are being told. Well, if you can’t own anything, you can’t build ANY wealth. You have to rent/lease/subscribe to everything that these institutions own.

  4. Dan

    Ford selling us all out. Thankfully the EV boycott has tanked EVs. Consumer Reports even rated EVs as less reliable than ICE vehicles.

  5. Ford Owner

    Young drivers can do what I and many fellow drivers did for our first cars: buy used. My first car was a 1964 Rambler American in 1974. My first new car was a 1995 Buick Regal after I received a $300 monthly raise. There are millions of used but good cars on the market, so there is no need to buy new,
    or even cheap Chinese cars.


    The reality is consumers will buy what they can afford. If American auto manufacturers can not provide a competitive product then foreign manufacturers will gladly step up to take that market sector and along with it well paying American jobs and profits. Political posturing and misinformation by special interest groups ie oil, coal and gas industry only serves to slow the development, jobs and profits of the American auto industry in respect to electric vehicle development. Dare I say that sounds Unamerican.

  7. Tigger

    What do you expect when the last few generations have been indoctrinated in the schools to hate America?

  8. Jt

    Younger generation(myself) could care less where a vehicle is made.

  9. David Dickinson II

    It’s cheap and these buyers don’t have the money. That’s why they will buy it. Ford and GM have abandoned the low end of the market. The walked away from sedans, which are the cheapest vehicles. For decades the Japanese realized that by selling their least expensive vehicle (i.e. Honda Civic etc.) to cash strapped youth, they could win them over for future vehicle purchases as they grew out of their vehicles. If you want a life-long customer, you need to offer an inexpensive product to attract them during their youth. Japan gets it. Korea gets it. The Chinese get it. Ford needs to get with the program.


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