Originally Posted by clarence
I never said China was on the radar back in 60's & 70's. It wasn't a blip on the radar meaning nobody cared nor even thought about that market.
HK & PRC tastes have never converged, so they have been on their separate ways since day 1.
HK is still a beach head for mainland market in terms of potential new product introduction, not in terms of manufacturing but in terms of marketing. Showrooms & car shows attract a lot of mainland traffic & data are being collected at those venues.
Perhaps for those mainlanders that come to HK, useful information can be taken to gauge their preferences. I would agree that since the mainland used to be behind HK in terms of market development, HK did serve a very useful role for those seeking to enter the mainland market. But for the vast mainland market, many automakers nowadays (including BMW) don't really need to establish a HK "beach-head" first I still think. The American automakers don't sell in the HK local market yet they are doing quite well in the mainland. They can conduct market research directly on the mainland without having to go through HK.
I will say HK is still important in the Asia market, not for it's size, but for the relative ease of HK buyers to embrace Western auto trends.