Re-Evaluating Honda’s Hybrid Car Marketing Strategy
Re-Evaluating Honda’s Hybrid Car Marketing Strategy

Re-Evaluating Honda’s Hybrid Car Marketing Strategy

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  • Pages: 5 (1117 words)
  • Published: January 2, 2018
  • Type: Report
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The international marketing department at Honda, a renowned global automotive company, is presently evaluating its marketing strategy and business plan for the recently introduced line of hybrid cars, particularly the Insight model. Their plan encompasses multiple levels and includes exploring numerous new initiatives.

As a team of Marketing Researchers, our task is to assist the marketing department in addressing a specific decision-making problem. This problem may involve initiatives such as expanding the product line, enhancing product features, expanding distribution, or repositioning the product. In this report, we will present research findings related to the current state and future projections of the Indian economy, automobile industry, and market in India. We will also discuss important environmental regulations and issues in India. Our research will cover topics such as automobile ownership trends, purchase be


havior and usage habits, petrol consumption and cost sensitivity, environmental concerns and conservation efforts, as well as future purchase interests.

Moreover, this report offers background information on the hybrid car and its market. The hybrid car combines features from both gasoline-powered cars and electric cars. It gained popularity as "the green car" when it was introduced to the market in the late 1990s with the launch of the Smart car.

The car combines a gasoline engine and an electric motor fueled by a battery. This innovative vehicle offers two key benefits: it helps reduce harmful exhaust emissions and improves fuel efficiency, which are widely acknowledged as crucial aspects. Many areas worldwide, including the US, have recently enacted regulations that set limits on the amount of pollutants cars can release, such as carbon dioxide (CO2), believed to contribute to climate change and directly linked to fuel usage. Consequently

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there is an increasing demand for and fascination with this kind of automobile.

The hybrid car market is still in its early stages and not yet crowded, leading to limited competition currently. However, competition is quickly growing, causing Honda to evaluate its strategy and make improvements. Currently, Honda and Toyota are the main rivals in this market, although other automakers have also expressed their plans to produce hybrid cars. Both Honda and Toyota have released their products in Japan and the United States. In December 1999, Honda was the first to introduce its two-door Insight model in the US, soon followed by a four-door hybrid version of the popular Civic.

The US launch of Toyota's four-door Prius occurred in Spring 2001. In terms of hybrid sales for 2003, Honda is currently the industry leader. This research aims to prove that there is a significant demand for the Honda Insight hybrid car within the Indian automobile market, providing it is competitively priced and positioned as "the cost-savings car." The identified objectives for this study are as follows: to establish the existence of a market for hybrid cars in India, to confirm Honda's position as a desired and trusted brand in the Indian automobile market, and to determine which of the three potential positioning statements resonates most strongly with consumers based on their attitudes towards living expenses (such as petrol prices) and perceptions towards environmental protection. Additionally, this research seeks to specify the potential target consumer for the Honda Insight.

To achieve our research goals, we collected both secondary and primary data. The secondary data included information about the Indian economy, automobile market, and environmental regulations. We acquired this data

from electronic databases, industry-related websites, and online environmental journals.

To gather primary data, we distributed a comprehensive questionnaire among Indian consumers. This information was crucial in supporting our reasoning, identifying a target market, and developing a strategy for introducing the Honda Insight in India.

The survey was conducted among forty-five (45) car owners residing in the greater metropolitan New Delhi area.

Our study consisted of men and women from various marital statuses, as well as young professionals aged 20 to 40 who had completed at least an undergraduate education. These individuals were part of the middle or higher income level, with a monthly income surpassing Rs 100,000. This demographic possesses considerable purchasing power and modern consumption habits, making them potential consumers. To ensure comprehensive research, we also included individuals outside of this age and income group to avoid assumptions and limitations. The purpose of the following five (5) questions was to examine current usage trends, factors considered during the car purchase process, and the duration of vehicle ownership (in years and kilometers) among our sample group. This aimed at evaluating whether the Honda Insight would meet the needs of the target Indian automobile consumer. Section B of the survey comprised seven (7) questions that specifically focused on petrol consumption, household expenditures, spending habits within our sample group, and sensitivity towards costs.

Questions 10 and 11 ask about the type of petrol used by the participant's current vehicle and the amount of petrol consumed (in liters and as a percentage of disposable income). Questions 12 and 13 use attitude scales to determine the level of satisfaction with consumption and concern about the price of petrol. These questions aim to gain

initial insight into attitudes to determine whether the positioning of the Honda Insight as a "cost savings" car is relevant. The remaining questions measure the participant's spending on petrol relative to their income, as well as household expenses for groceries and electricity. The Environment: Section C of the questionnaire includes five questions to understand the participant's level of environmental awareness and concern.

The purpose of the attitude scale in Question 17 was to assess levels of concern about different environmental issues and determine if air pollution is a primary concern. Questions 18 to 22 aimed to measure the extent of active involvement and thought employed by the sample to prevent or reduce harm to the environment. These questions aimed to gain further insight into the sample's perception, especially in relation to the relevance of positioning the Honda Insight as an environmentally friendly car. The section titled "Your Future Car Purchase" included four questions regarding future interest in brands and attributes, potential for purchasing, and willingness to pay a premium for automobiles or instruments that could reduce emissions, lower petrol consumption, or protect the environment. Once again, these questions were designed to provide valuable information for determining the positioning and pricing strategy for the Honda Insight.

Questions 23 and 25 focus on the Honda Insight, covering its current awareness, purchase consideration, and interest level. Being a leading industry player aiming to introduce a pioneering product, responses to these questions offered valuable understanding of the existing awareness and knowledge of the product, as well as the potential need for future educational investments.

Personal Information: The last section comprised a range of questions aimed at gathering demographic information about the sample.

These specifics were utilized to cross-tabulate the collected data by age, gender, and other factors.

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