What is the Market for Chinese Volvos? - Quality and Reliability Perceptions within the Context of Technology Transfer
Paper in proceedings, 2013
Impressions about the quality and reliability of products can depend as much on perceptions concerning brand and country of origin (quality cues) as on the evidence
of hard data regarding performance and failure (quality attributes). Although the distinction between quality cues and quality attributes is a traditional area of research
in marketing, and more specifically in the study of customer behaviour and preferences, it has not previously been investigated within the context of international technology transfer. In this paper we first use research in the machine tool sector to illustrate this country-of origin effect formation process based on surveys among UK and Chinese companies with experience of technology transfer and use of end-products. We then explore the implications for Volvo as an established Western automotive brand that has been acquired by the Chinese company Geely Automobile Holdings, and which is transferring design and
manufacturing technology to enable production of new models in China as well as Europe. This uses a survey in Taiwan to establish opinions about Swedish-made and Chinese-made Volvos across a range of purchasing factors. The results reveal some important differences of opinion among nearly all these various factors.