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The target market you’re used to focusing on will not necessarily be the same in another country. Sometimes, you’ll have more success with a different target market, so you must do your research on China’s demographics and psychographics before setting up business there. Cadillac’s recent China success is an example of how your target audience will sometimes be drastically different in another country.

China’s Youth are Buying Cadillacs

The U.S. target market for Cadillacs consists of older men, but in China, it’s the youth who are buying Cadillacs. In fact, the average age of a Cadillac buyer in China is half the average age of an American customer. One reason for this is the overall luxury car market in China is dominated by the youth.

Cadillac Tweaked Its Design for Chinese Consumers

In order to appeal to Chinese consumers of luxury cars, Cadillac softened the edges on their cars. Some of the Cadillac enthusiasts in the United States may disapprove of this move because they’re used to Cadillac’s distinct sharp angular edges. Chinese consumers, however, expect softer edges on their luxury cars because it’s currently the dominant style.

Cadillac’s Sales in China May Surpass U.S. Sales

In 2015, Cadillac’s China sales increased 17% with almost 80,000 total cars sold. This represented 4.1% of the China luxury car market. For 2016, Cadillac President Johan de Nysschen established a growth target of 25% in China, which would mean over 100,000 Cadillacs to sell. He thinks that their Chinese sales will surpass U.S. sales within the next 5-10 years. Last year, Cadillac sold about 175,000 cars in the United States.


Because of strengthening sales in China, the future of Cadillac automobiles will be influenced by what Chinese consumers want. Cadillac’s target market in China was significantly different than its U.S. market and shows signs of being able to surpass the U.S. in terms of revenue generated within the next 5-10 years. Cadillac is just one example of a foreign company who had to aim for a different target market. If they hadn’t done their research, they may not have been successful.

Target audience isn’t the only important factor to consider when setting up in China. You must allocate resources for risk mitigation and compliance, especially because of how strictly China enforces its laws. Contact us to learn about what we do to mitigate risk for your expanding business.

If you are interested in knowing more about China, download the first free chapters  of my book here.

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