Made in: German products have the best reputation around the world while China scores lowest
November 25th, 2021, Janice Fernandes

Made in: German products have the best reputation around the world while China scores lowest

There are several global manufacturing powerhouses across the world including China, Germany, and the United States. The origin of products continues to play a significant role in how they are perceived, according to a YouGov survey.

We asked consumers in 17 markets across the globe how much they trust products from five countries – UK, US, China, Japan, Germany and France – and the results vary greatly.

We’ve written in the past about how German products enjoy one of the best reputations in the international market, and, in 2021, Germany again comes in with the highest level of trust among all consumers. Slightly more than 50% say they trust brands from this country a lot and 31% say they trust products from the region at least a little.

A majority of German consumers trust products from their own country a lot (64%), with 25% saying they trust at least a little. What’s more, there is only a very small proportion of Germans who don’t trust products from their home country (3%).

The ratio of how much consumers trust Chinese products is almost exactly opposite that for German products. Only one in ten global consumers trust Chinese brands a lot and 37% trust them a little, while 43% do not trust products from this country.

Consumers across the globe have similar trust levels for products from the US, UK and France. Roughly four in ten trust brands from these three countries a little, while 37% trust products from the UK a lot, 36% from the US and 32% from France.

Trust in German products

Germany is known to be one of the largest exporters of high-end cars in the world, which may be one of the reasons for this high level of trust for products manufactured in the country.

Globally, roughly half the consumers trust German products a lot, but when we analyse 17 markets separately the share of consumers who say they trust German products a lot can go much higher.

For example, three-quarters of Spanish consumers say they trust German-made products a lot (75%), followed by Denmark (73%), Germany (64%) and Mexico (64%). Brits are lower on the list of those who trust German brands a lot (47%). However, when combined with those who trust them a little (34%) GB consumers total at 81%. Similarly, the US too has a share of only 35% of consumer who trust a lot and 34% of those who trust a little.

Just 5% of global consumers say they don't trust German products and roughly one in ten have a neutral opinion on products from this market. This uncertainty is highest in the US (23%) followed by China (17%).

When divided into age groups, 36% of 18-24-year-olds in GB trust German made products a lot compared to 51% of 25-34, 46% of 35-44, 46% of 45-54, and 49% of 55+. However, among those who trust German brands a little, 18-24-year-olds are most likely to agree (40%), with the other age groups falling behind: 28% 25-34, 33% 35-44, 32% 45-54, and 37% 55+.

Trust in Chinese products

While only 10% of the global population trust products from China a lot and 37% trust a little, the overall trust level is slightly higher than the share of those who don’t trust products from this region (43%).

A high share of Chinese consumers trust products from their own country a lot (57%) and few say they do not trust products from their home country (5%).

China’s reputation for manufacturing disposable products for the mass market could be one of the reasons why their products find themselves garnering so much distrust globally. Roughly half the consumers from most of the 17 countries do not trust products from China. Seven in ten urban Indian consumers don’t trust Chinese made products while Indonesia has the lowest share of consumers that don’t trust products from this country (22%).

When split by age, it’s noted that while globally a high share of younger consumers don’t trust products from China more than other markets, it’s the older generation that don’t trust the most: 18-24 31%; 25-34 34%; 35-44 41%; 45-54 45%; 55+ 53%. Analysing further, this attitudinal difference is seen among consumers in the US and GB too (62% of 55+ in US and 51% in GB don’t trust products manufactured in China).

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Methodology: The data is based on the interviews of adults aged 18 and over in 17 markets with sample sizes varying between 585 and 2065 for each market. All interviews were conducted online in July 2021. Data from each market uses a nationally representative sample apart from Mexico and India, which use urban representative samples, and Indonesia and Hong Kong, which use online representative samples.