Honda City Marketing Research

Published: 2021-07-01 08:29:55
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ACKNOWLEDGEMENT The project in its present form and state would not have been possible had it not been for the able guidance and support of Prof. Sandip Anand whom we always looked up to, when faced with any difficulty and have disturbed him at all times and hours. We would also like to thank our seniors and classmates who provided us with references required for collection of data. No research would be successful, without the active involvement of the respondents and we take this opportunity to thank our various respondents for having patiently filled our response sheet.
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY BACKGROUND The first automobile was steam powered vehicle invented in 1672. Since the first car rolled out on the streets of Mumbai (then Bombay) in 1898, the Automobile Industry of India has come a long way. During its early stages the auto industry was overlooked by the then Government and the policies were also not favorable. As a result automobiles were not a common sight. However with liberalization policy adopted y the GOI, significant changes have been made. Today, India is one of the largest markets for automobiles in the world.
Our research is concerned with the sedans. A sedan car or saloon car (British English) is a passenger car with two rows of seats and adequate passenger space in the rear compartment for adult passengers. The vehicle usually has a separate rear trunk for luggage, although some manufacturers such as Chevrolet, Tata, and Volkswagen have made rear-engined models. It is one of the most common body styles for modern automobile LITERATURE REVIEW We studied some current literature and news reports available on the growing mid segment sedan market in India.



There is a huge shift that is currently happening as far the car market is concerned. Companies are now starting to believe in the “India Growth Story”, and changing their focus to lure high spenders and people who are connoisseurs of luxury and premium cars. All companies have either entered or planning to enter this segment. Some of the latest reports from the executives (or the company) of some of the leading players in the market are as mentioned below. Speaking to Business Standard, Fumihiko Ike, chief operating officer of regional operations,
Asia Oceania, Honda Motor Company, said: "There will be multiple models coming out of the small car platform after its launch in 2011. We will explore a sedan, too, using the same platform to make maximum use of our resources. " While Japan's third largest auto company, Nissan, had stated earlier that it would also pull out a mid-sized sedan from the small five-seater car that it would launch this May. Toyota Kirloskar Motors will be launching a sedan based on the concept compact model, which it had showcased at the recent Auto Expo held in Delhi.
Company officials decline to reveal the targeted price, but state it will be available in the same range as the Swift Dzire, which is Rs 4. 90-5. 5 lakhs. Czech-based car maker Skoda Auto is also working on a car which it is keen on positioning below the Octavia, a premium car sold above Rs 10 lakhs. Thus, this area presents a huge marketing opportunity for companies and so is an exciting subject for study as well. CATEGORY The brands this study would cover are Ford Fiesta, Maruti Suzuki SX4, Hyundai Verna, Fiat Linea and Honda City.
Research Methodology Prime focus of the research: To find the value positioning of Honda City among the mid segment sedans. Target Group Since we were studying the mid and the premium segments there are three groups that we targeted in our study: Existing consumer who buy cars. Probable consumers who can convert into active consumers into near future. Consumers who shall be converting into such category in distant future. We basically studied the following categories of people for our analysis: Working professionals
Youths in the age group of 25-40 with high disposable income Students and other youth about to join service or start up on their own First year students of XIMB were also considered for the study Methodology The attempt of this study was to cover the growth of the premium segment watches as a lifestyle statement, the coverage included quantifying or finding the strong and the weak attributes that pursues the sales of these watches hence the methodologies used are: Focus Group Discussions (2) In-depth Interviews
Survey methodology (Sample Size = 101) While the group observation and discussion helped us to identify the qualitative aspect of the study at length the survey methodology helped us to reach to a various inferences related to percentage of people preferring the sedans, the primary drivers for the various mid segment sedans, the strengths and weaknesses of the brands, stochastic share of brands etc. which is discussed in detail in the report at a later part. Process Since we are targeting such diverse consumer group our survey has to extend beyond regional level.
The focus of our survey shall be: Pan India Survey Respondents from metros- Prime target study Mini metros Class 1 towns Online questionnaire: We used this as our method for collecting data so as to reach customers from all possible segments and various cities. Sampling The traditional sampling approach, i. e. the sample was selected before data collection began and sampling without replacement was performed. The following techniques were used: Sampling Technique The traditional sampling approach was used, i. e. he sample was selected before data collection began and sampling without replacement was performed. The following techniques were used: For the qualitative analysis, i. e. in-depth interviews and focus groups discussion, subjects were selected based on the attributes and the parameters for buying the mid segment sedans mostly from students and working population. For the quantitative analysis, snowball sampling was adopted. Recent buyers helped to send the questionnaire to other people who were passionate about mid segment sedans.
Sample Size Around 150 people were included in the study with the following rough breakup. Around 10 people for the focus group discussions and the in-depth interviews (Qualitative Analysis) Around 101 people for the Sample survey (Quantitative Analysis) Aspiring groups comprising of students, young working people and executives were considered. Variables Dependent Variable Independent Variables Now we have a look at the various independent variables that in turn have helped us to decide the preference of a particular mid segment sedan.
Affordable Price - Whenever customers go to buy a car, some of them may have a particular budget in their mind while some may be willing to spend any amount. Many a times it happens that a customer goes to a showroom and asks the dealer to show cars with a particular price range while at times they are willing to spend any amount if they like a particular car. Hence this variable helps us in understanding the attitude of customers with respect to the price they are willing to spend when they go to purchase cars especially in the segment of 5 lakhs to 12 lakhs.
This variable also helps us to understand very important factors like whether the customer is willing to compensate quality to save cost because if he is not willing to spend more if he is getting a better quality car in a price beyond his budget then it shows that the customer is strictly limited by his price range while making the purchase. Comfort – Comfort is one of the important aspects while deciding on the choice of cars. When a customer is willing to pay any amount over 5 lakhs for a sedan that means he or she is looking for a car which provides good comfort.
Comfort in a broader aspect touches upon the experience of a customer when he or she is travelling in car. Sufficient leg space, seats and a good shock absorbing system are quintessential in determining the comfort of a car. Interior and Exterior looks – Aesthetics and looks are always an important criteria for purchasing a car. Sedans are typically considered as mid segment cars because of its superior exterior looks and good interiors. This variable helps us to determine whether people consider exterior and interior looks as one of the defining criterion while going for a sedan.
Safety and additional Features - With increase in the options available in the market, many a time customers may want to look for additional features being offered in different mid segment cars. Air bags, power steering, alloy wheels, music player, central locking and multiple colour options are various other additional features which customer are looking for when they purchase a car. This variable will give us an idea as to how much priority a customer gives to these features. Mileage – Middle and upper middle class people always look out for a car which has a good mileage.
As fuel prices are increasing year after year, mileage has definitely been a governing criterion for all car takers. This variable will help us measure the importance of mileage as one of the deciding parameters. Power – One of the most important features of a mid segment sedan is the power. There is a substantial increase in power from the small cars thereby giving more pick up and stability in the long run. This variable will help us to determine whether people perceive power as a criterion to select a sedan or not.
After-Sales Service – Possessing a good car does not solve one’s purpose. Customers are looking for cars which not only are affordable, give good mileage but also which have good after sales service. Therefore, after sales service is very important in today’s competitive environment. This variable will give us an idea how important is after sales service when customers go for a particular brand. Status Symbol – India has been growing at a fairly fast rate which eventually has raised the per capita income. With the growth in income people have become more conscious about the kind of cars they possess.
Therefore, status symbol is an important parameter when we go for a particular brand. This variable will tell us whether status symbol is one of the criteria to go for a particular brand. In addition to the above independent variables we have also gathered some demographic data of the people so that we can have a better understanding of the pattern of preference of people coming from different locations, belonging to different age group, having different annual incomes etc. Some of these demographic variables are listed below Name: Name of the respondent
Gender: To find out the gender of the respondent Occupation: To find out the current occupation of the respondent Household Income per annum: To find the income group to which the respondent belongs. Price willing to pay for a sedan: To find out the price range which respondents are comfortable while going for a sedan. Qualitative Analysis Qualitative Analysis was carried out using focus group discussions to generate hypothesis about purchase decision of a car for people and how different factors affect their decision. Qualitative analysis will be helpful for getting a detail insight into the problem.
Focus Group Discussions Honda City has been regarded as a prestigious brand in India since its launch in 1998. It maintains a significant market share in its class and enjoys a very high level of popularity. The luxurious sedan has a lot to offer to its potential buyers- new engine, new design, more grandeur, increased cabin space, and of course top notch performance. Objectives: To find out the perception of people about Honda City among the mid segment cars in terms of factors that affect the purchasing behaviour of customers.
They are factors like: {text:list-item} {text:list-item} {text:list-item} {text:list-item} {text:list-item} {text:list-item} {text:list-item} To check the status of Honda City as compared to its competitors like Verna, Ford Fiesta and Linea in the sedan segment of cars. Target Population: Young Professionals in the age group of 22-35 years. Users of Honda City and users of other brands Non users of cars Students with no work experience and others with substantial work experience of 2-4 years. Content Analysis:
Table 1 CONCLUSION BASED ON QUALITATIVE FINDINGS From the overall Qualitative Analysis, it seems that customers of premium watches are very conscious and careful buyers. For them the most important features are the Quality of the watch and are very particular about its Performance as well. They view it as a strong status symbol and an accessory, which adds to their personality. Also, people these days lay a lot of stress on the additional features like Embedded Jewellery, chronographs etc Quantitative Analysis
Quantitative data analysis has been done in the following way. An Excel Analysis of the demographic profile was done first to understand the respondents’ background and to check the general attributes of the respondents. Then the Factor Analysis was done, the result of which has been explained below. Then the top 2 boxes scores were analyzed for various attributes based on respondent profiles. Then Jaccard Analysis was done to find out the primary drivers for the mid-segment car category. It was followed by stochastic share analysis and SWOT analysis.
Then cross tabulation was done to measure Brand Preference with the top 2 boxes for all the important attributes. This is how an extensive quantitative analysis for our research was done. Demographic profile of the respondents Gender Profile {draw:frame} The gender profile of the respondent base is tilted towards the male category as they constitute 76% of the total base. Age Profile {draw:frame} Occupation {draw:frame} Of the total number of people surveyed, the service and self employed categories almost constitute 50% of the responses.
All the respondents provided their employment status within these three categories and nobody opted for the “Others” category which was provided. A lot of respondents were from our institute making the student population half of the total responses. Students make the aspiring group and also form an important part for the emerging market. Total Household Income {draw:frame} Pilot Testing Initially a questionnaire was developed as per the requirements of the research proposal. This questionnaire was subject to pilot testing to find out the errors in it if any as per the attitude of the people.
To find out if any question is confusing or not conveying the intended meaning it was done. For this we selected around 15 people according to the sample needed for the study. These people were asked to fill up the questionnaire. We noted down any possible problem that these respondents faced while filling up the questionnaire. After this we worked on such problems found out and the suggestions from these respondents with respect to the questionnaire. Some questions those were conveying double meaning or creating confusion was omitted from the questionnaire.
This edited questionnaire was then used as the final questionnaire and then the study was carried out. Bi-Variate Analysis Total Household Income Vs Amount Willing to Spend on a Sedan It can be inferred from the above figures that the people want to own a car mostly in the range of annual salary they earn. But majority of the people are willing to buy a car in the range of Rs. 5-7 lakh. It is interesting to find that a very few people want to buy a sedan in the range of above Rs. 12 lakh among the first four income groups. Still people having income below Rs. lakh have shown interest in buying such a sedan possibly due to aspirational reason. Total Household Income Vs Preference of Respondents for Various Brands It can be observed that for those people earning less than Rs. 300000, there is not much difference between the preferences for the different brands. Nonetheless, Honda City and Ford Fiesta are the winners with equal percentage of fan following. In the higher categories of total household incomes, it can be inferred that Honda City has a clear cut upper hand over the other brands. Only Suzuki SX4 comes close to it in some cases.
This shows that people with higher earnings definitely would like to choose City over other given brands in the mid segment category. People with lower incomes are open to any brand FACTORING Factor analysis is a data reduction technique that aims at grouping the input variables, which have dependency with each other, into factors that underlie the input variables. Initially the total number of factors in the factor analysis is equal to the total number of input variables. But after the factor analysis the total number of variables in the study can be reduced by discarding the insignificant factors based on certain criterion.
We have performed factor analysis on all the questions that we had in our questionnaire treating each one as an independent variable. The extraction method chosen for factor analysis was Principal Component matrix. This is the most popular technique for factor analysis, which determines loadings of variables on different factors by using the standard normal values of the observations of the original input variables. The rotation method used is Varimax with Kaiser Normalization. We have given the SPSS output as a separate attachment with the report.
Extraction communalities are the variances of the variables accounted for by the factors in the factor solution. Large values of communality of all the variables indicate that they fit well with the factor solution, and thus should not be dropped from the analysis. Clearly all the fifty-two variables have fairly high value of extraction communality and thus should not be dropped from the factor analysis. Scree plot is the curve obtained by plotting Eigen values against their corresponding factors. The eigen value of a factor captures the variation in all the variables captured by it.
The Scree plot above clearly shows that the slope of the curve falls after the fifteenth factor and also eigenvalue drops below Due to these only fifteen factors are taken into consideration. The total variance table also gives the details of the fifteen variables of the factoring output. The second column indicates that there are 15 factors for which Eigen value is greater than 1. The last column ‘cumulative %’ gives the percent of variance accounted for by all factors or components up to and including the current one. The fifteenth factor has a value of 82. , which indicates that all the fifteen factors till the current one total account for 82. 6% of variance. The following manifest variables were used for factor analysis: Price on mind while buying Price is the deciding factor Japanese cars of superior quality Warranty important Spare parts availability Serviceability Engine life After sales value Additional features 10. Mileage 11. Engine power 12. Performance feedback 13. Status symbol 14. Uniqueness 15. Investment source 16. Superior functionality of premium cars 17. Necessity 18. Affordability reduces attractiveness 9. Perceived as successful by colleagues when driving premium cars 20. Great interior and exterior looks KMO and Bartlett’s Test KMO test indicates if the sample size is adequate with respect to number of variables being considered. 0. 815 indicates that the sample size is adequate. We can also reach the same conclusion by multiplying the number of manifest variables by 5, which is 100 (=20x5) and that is less than 101, the sample size. Bartlett’s test has a chi square distribution and if significance is greater than 0. 1, then data is unimodal.
But the high significance level here shows that the data collected is not skewed and has more or less a uniform distribution. Communalities Total Variance Eigen cut-off value has been set to one here. As we can see in the appendix attached, there are four factors which explain 60. 97% of total variance. {draw:frame} Screen Plot Scree plot shows how the Eigen value varies across factors. The points above the Eigen value of 1 in the scree plot constitute the factors. The first four factors have thus a steep value after which the slope flattens. Rotated Component Matrix draw:frame} The rotated component matrix shows all the manifest variables grouped together in various classes which are called factors. They are called latent factors because they are the underlying variables which determine the dependent variable. Also the first factor and the manifest variables under it explain the dependent variable more than the second and third factor. As can be seen from the rotated component matrix table below, eight manifest variables can be grouped under one factor. Another 5 variables under the second factor and so on.
Each factor has been provided by a name. A list of the factors and the manifest variables involved is given below: Factor 1 – Features of car/sedan Warranty important Spare parts availability Serviceability Engine life After sales value Additional features Mileage Performance feedback Factor 2 – Social/Perceived Factors Investment source Superior functionality of premium cars Necessity Affordability reduces attractiveness Perceived as successful by colleagues when driving premium cars Factor 3 – Prestige Factors Japanese cars of superior quality
Status symbol Uniqueness Factor 4 – Monetary Aspects Price on mind while buying Price is the deciding factor _ _Top of Mind Analysis {draw:frame} The above chart shows the percentage distribution of the various car brands which were provided by the respondents when asked for four various car brands which came to their minds in the mid segment. A total of 45 different car brands were given as response by them consisting of vehicles in the low, mid and the high segments. The most prominent brands were selected and the data concerning them was analyzed.
It can be clearly inferred that Honda City enjoys a very good share of the respondents’ top of the mind with a share of about 27%. Maruti SX4 comes next with a share of 14% followed by Ford Fiesta at 11%. When asked about the first brand which comes to their minds, again Honda City was the clear winner by a large margin with about 37 respondents providing the brand name. Jaccard Analysis Jaccard analysis is used in market research to establish which attributes of a brand are important to the customers and the extent to which each of the attributes satisfies their expectations.
Jaccard analysis is primarily done to find out the variables in order of their importance for their ability to govern groupability or similarity with the dependent variable. In our marketing research, we have used Jaccard scores to identify the attributes which are important for the brand category using five brands, namely, Honda City, Ford Fiesta, Hyundai Verna, Fiat Linea and Suzuki SX4. These attributes will constitute the primary drivers of the brand. We calculate the Jaccard score as follows: The respondents are asked about their brand preferences in the category and their responses are noted down.
Then they are asked if they associate a particular attribute with each of the brands under study and their responses are again noted down as follows: YY: If the respondent prefers a brand and associates with a particular positioning. YN: If the respondent prefers a brand but does not associate with a particular positioning. NY: If the respondent doesn’t prefer a brand but associates with a particular positioning. Jaccard Score = YY / (YY+YN+NY) We calculated the Jaccard score for each of the attributes and ranked the attributes from highest to lowest in descending order of the scores.
That means in Jaccard analysis, higher the Jaccard score, better is the attribute. After they are ranked, the attributes with scores above a benchmark score are listed. These attributes are named Primary Drivers. The table given below gives the primary drivers for the brand category of Honda City: Based on a cut-off of 0. 4, we find that the following attributes are the primary drivers in the brand category concerned: Exterior/Interior Looks Comfort Affordable Price Power SWOT Analysis
SWOT analysis is done to find the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of a particular brand with respect to other brands in the same category. When studied along with the help of Jaccard analysis, it becomes a powerful tool to identify the areas of strengths and weaknesses. In SWOT analysis, strengths and weaknesses are internal to the organization while opportunities and threats are external to the organization. A positive SWOT score indicates strength and a negative SWOT score indicates a weakness. It is also observed that the SWOT analysis works on the principal of zero-sum game.
A gain on an attribute of a brand is counterbalanced by a loss in another attribute. SWOT scores are calculated as follows: SWOT SCORE = (Brand Attribute score – Attribute Average) – (Brand Average – Grand Average). Here, Attribute’s average is average of all brands’ scores for that particular attribute (Row Average) Average of Brand’s scores on all attributes being considered (Column Average) Grand average of scores (Average of row averages/column averages) The following table is generated for the SWOT scores of different attributes and brands: We have categorised the scores on the basis of the above table.
As shown, the attributes with a SWOT score of more than 2 are identified as strengths and are shown in dark green colour. Attributes with SWOT score between 0 and 2 are weaknesses and coloured red, those between 0 and -2 are threats and coloured yellow. Lastly those attributes with SWOT scores less than -2 are labelled as weakness of the concerned brand and coloured red. Now we focus on the brand under question – the Honda City. The attributes of the brand based on SWOT scores can be summarised as strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats in the table given below: Honda City STOCHASTIC ANLYSIS
When we are talking about the strength of a brand there are few parameters using which we judge the strength of the brand based on the share it has like: Share of Market This measures the hold of the brand of the market. The problem with this kind of analysis is that it tells the strength of the brand today it reflects no projections and possibilities for future. Share of Mind and Heart is the one that highlights the prospects of the brand in the coming future. It tries to capture what the consumer thinks and believes of a particular brand and thus helps us to determine the prospects of the brand in future based on present perceptions.
While conducting the market research for Honda City we have resorted to stochastic share analysis, to see the strength of the brand Honda City relatively to other brands in terms of share of mind The analysis has two parts: Preferred set size of the brand Stochastic share of the brand Preferred set size analysis This part of the analysis hovers to procure the data regarding the preference of the brands in the market. It is the simple process in which the respondent has been asked for preference for the brand from the given choices. Respondent’s response for each brand is treated as a unit for each brand; he can prefer more than one brand.
All the brands for which the respondents has respondent in affirmative get allocated a unit i. e. if the respondent says he is aware of Honda City and Fiat Linea, both of them will be appended to the column of Honda City and Fiat Linea. In the end summation of the response is taken and the preferred set size is calculated. Of a brand = --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Total no of respondents that has a preference for that brand Following table has been extracted from our analysis OBSERVATION
The preferred set size for all the brands lies between 1. 38 and 2. 41. Honda City has the value of 1. 38 which essentially means people are pretty clear when it comes to Honda City than any other brand. In fact the total data exhibits far lower preferred set size. If see the preferred set size of the other sedans, we can see that they are pretty well distributed which means preference of a particular brand are clearly visible. Inference The ideal score for any preferred set size is 1 which means this is the only brand preferred by the respondent.
This sends a very strong message that there is no close competitor to the given brand, when we are talking in terms of preference set of consumer. For the given analysis we observe that some of the sedans have a preference set greater than 2 and some have a score significantly less than 2. The scores which are less than 2 are a good signal because the customer has more clarity and Honda City enjoys higher preference as compared to its competitors. Stochastic Share Analysis
This is the second part of the analysis here we approach the core of the analysis. Taking data from the preferred set size analysis we proceed to calculate the stochastic share of the brand The number of respondents that have responded in affirmative for any brand represents the set, which can become the buyer of the brand hence they represent the future market share for the brand and today’s share of mind this is calculated as No of respondents who responded in affirmative for the brand preference __ Total set size of the respondents considered
Now this is the market share of the brand but as we have analyzed before the brand is preferred alongside other brands as well so this share of the mind includes the respondents who prefer other brand as well. Thus to get the actual % representation of a brand in the market we calculate Proportionate market share = % of market calculated earlier ------------------------------------------------------- This is now the actual share of the brands but this is not the actual share of mind of the brands that is represented by the share of the brand among he brands considered for study. Proportionate share of the brand Stochastic Share = ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- ? Proportionate share of all the brands in the consideration set Following is the table from our analysis Observation There has been a conformance in the data pattern from that noted in the Preference set analysis. Honda City has the least preferred set size, and has the stochastic share of 56. 40% where as the other sedans have stochastic share between 8% and 17%. Inference
This reiterates the fact of the preferred set size analysis where Honda City had the lowest preference set score, thus Honda City could be a leading brand in the market. This analysis emphasizes that Honda City is the brand with the highest share of mind of all consumer. This would or already has translated into highest market share in the segment of sedans, as people are all for this brand when it’s up against the other considered brand. Unparallel attributes that are highlighted by the brand Honda Aggressive marketing effort, which has left a lasting impression on the respondents Precaution in adaptation of analysis
The analysis has been done based on the respondents and following points have to be kept in mind The analysis has been drawn on the basis of the respondent set thus depending on the response for the sample set the analysis is done. The competitor set size has been defined with deliberate efforts but the share output could vary with the competitor set. Conclusion Honda City definitely enjoys a good top of mind share in the mid segment cars. So, it shows it is enjoying a good position in the sedan segment.
But the pricing is obviously becoming a deciding factor in a small city like Bhubaneswar. Most of the people are willing to spend around 5-7 lakhs on Honda City and not more than that. The most important factors that people look for while purchasing a car are features present in the car, prestige issue linked with the purchase, factors like after sales service, availability of spares, etc and of course monetary factors. Comfort, looks, status symbol and maintenance are the strengths of Honda City. But there are other things like after sales service where Maruti SX4 is the leader.
It is also lagging behind competitors like Hyundai Verna, Ford Fiesta, and Maruti SX4 in areas like power, mileage and additional features that people expect to be present in a sedan. Honda has got a high stochastic share which means that it has a large potential market. People want to go for it but are not doing so presently due to some factors. So, Honda should try improving on its weaknesses and keep its strengths intact. It should also be alert for new threats in the market. This can lead Honda to be the market leader in the Sedan segment.

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