BMW USA: Country of Origin and Consumer Perception

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BMW USA: Country of Origin and Consumer Perception Definitions of country of origin can be difficult to construct in a manner that is both specific and inclusive, as Jones and Martin (2012) make clear in their report for the Congressional Research Service. When a product is manufactured in and with materials from only one country and the company is based on that country as well then there is a self-evident country of origin, but this is often not the case with finished goods (Jones & Martin, 2012). Country of origin is therefore typically determined on a case-by-case basis, with the country providing the bulk of manufacturing usually considered the country of origin but with major materials suppliers or corporate domestic operations sometimes serving as the basis for country of origin selection (Jones & Martin, 2012). Despite the fact that BMW USA has a substantial US-based manufacturing operation, the company and its brand are still seen as having Germany as a country of origin (BMW USA, 2012). Decades-old research did find a strong prejudice against German products among American consumers, however now that several generations have passed since World War II these views are far less present and in fact a renewed respect for German engineering, quality, and luxury actually creates a positive brand image associated with Germany as a country of origin (Peterson, 2009). Country of origin is also becoming less of a consumer issue overall in an increasingly globalized
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