CINCINNATI (TDB) -- A global business intelligence and market insight consulting company polled Chinese attitudes about products manufactured in China and discovered the Chinese say American, Japanese and German goods have far higher quality. The survey showed that Made In The USA -- a label growing increasingly difficult to find here at home -- still means excellence in China.
Taylor Nelson Solfres plc does consumer research worldwide and its online survey panel of Chinese between ages 18-44 seemed to say they have little confidence in their nation's own factories. China offers cheap labor, but the down side looks to be crummy quality.
"The U.S. had the second highest association with a county that makes 'excellent quality products' at 33 percent, coming in second behind Germany at 38 percent, and much higher than their own Chinese products coming in at only 15 percent."
American corporations have been shifting factory jobs to China, in part to take advantage of that nation's low labor costs. But they have been stung by shoddy work, and there have been several notable recalls, including toys that were painted with toxic lead paint. Ohio's manufacturing economy has been hit particularly hard by globalization, which has moved jobs to lower cost locations.
TNS said the survey shows American companies -- because their American-made products are respected and sought in China -- have an opportunity to export. In other words, they should consider firing up the factories here.
"The results of this survey showed that there appears to be solid consumer confidence among the Chinese in U.S. produced goods and popular culture, resulting in ample opportunity for American businesses. The TNS study looked at Chinese views on a number of American products and trade issues. Overall, more than half of respondents placed the U.S. as the clear economic powerhouse, world leader and influential country."
The survey said America made the best technology products, best health care products and second best cars, after Germany. The complete text of the consumer survey is here. Not everything made in America got a high rating. French, British and Italian men were considered more handsome.