Consumer Behaviors Subculture Factors in Automobile Industry

The motor industry is controlled by consumer buying behavior that determines which kind of models, types, brand and automobile accessories that customers buy. Celebrity endorsement is a source of brand-identity; yet, different demographic factors like age, class, gender and ethnicity influence which brand of automobile sells the best. Commercial advertisements affect the extent to which a vehicle model is best known before the crowd who are potential customers. Consumers being exposed to countless television, print media and mass media channels like the internet; these channels create a platform throughout the global market for advertisement that can act as constant marketing techniques engaged to saturate the unsuspecting buyers into selecting a media endorsed model of an automobile.

Celebrity endorsement accounts for almost 24% of the total number of automobiles sold by diverse manufactures and sellers. Celebrity creates a direct press attention that is likely to increase investment returns as long as the model advertised satisfies the consumers. A company client who buys top models could be used as an example of a satisfied customer to increase sales targeting corporate and companies that require durable automobiles. Therefore, besides, the endorsement, the kind of celebrity affects who buys. For instance, a young celebrity is likely to influence the young generation compared to a corporate celebrity who is likely to influence other corporate that require long-lasting vehicles. Thus, the memorability of a celebrity advertisement depends on the target class of customer, while some automobiles target normal consumers, some target specific classes of people such as the military and security clients who may require durable than classy automobiles. Therefore, the functionality of every automobile concept affects the kind of customers intended to buy. The reason behind using celebrities is because a celebrity being a public figure attracts a certain form of credibility and people perceive that an established celebrity is likely to be more aware of best automobile brands in the market than a common customer is.

Decision making model is the calculated steps which automobile consumers are likely to make before deciding to buy vehicle. Hybrid vehicles are gaining an upper hand in the market because of the cost-effective methods associated with hybrid vehicles. The first and most fundamental utility that influence hybrid vehicle consumer is the energy utilization factor. Every consumer is looking for a renewable energy options that could reduce the dependence on gasoline and reduce carbon emission in order to preserve the environment.

Therefore, green marketing concept is new in the automobile industry, but the viability of the concept and the advantages attached to the concept is driving the automobile market. The Japanese Toyota Motor Corporation designed the first environment friendly hybrid car in 1992; the aim was to develop an automobile with capacity to achieve extra fuel mileage. Hybrid-electric vehicles (HEVs)  use the technology of propelling the automobile using two energy sources; one is the fuel or gasoline while the other source is the electric motors which are powered by the batteries that in turn automatically recharged by the movement of the vehicle (May & Mead, 2008). Thus the decision making model assert that a consumer will purchase specific additional auxiliary power supply to power electronic devises and tools. Equally, the concept of lower emission, fuel economy and increased power output of the driving machine acts as factors attracting consumers. Effectively, the HEVs models of vehicles have a market estimated to be worth $2.5 billion revenue stream per year. The Toyota corporation HEV model Prius sold over 50,000 units in the United States during in 2000; however, the immediate use of the vehicle with celebrities during academy awards increased the market awareness of the vehicle couple up with its fuel saving power that by June 2006 over 300,000 units had been sold. The advantages of the vehicle model and the green marketing concept worked for the Japanese car manufacturer.

How might a marketing manager for a product or service in your market make use of your analysis of the social structures to improve their marketing?

Equally, a new company venturing into manufacturing and selling of automobiles would cut a niche in provision of mileage efficiency vehicles since customer are concern about their vehicle gasoline expense. Equally, the market of Prius was affected by the recalling of over 170,000 hybrid vehicles that were returned from the United States to Japan for having a faulty breaking system (Singleton, 2004). Therefore, a marketing manager can cut into the present Prius market by producing and selling improved hybrid automobiles than the Japanese Toyota Company in order to capitalize in the market. Other factors that are highly likely to affect the marketing manager’s sale of vehicles include the demographics.   

Age as a factor is a significant variable that affect most buyers. It is believed that most automobile buyers are middle-aged consumers who have a liking for particular models because of the functionality of vehicle. People aged between 30 and 54 own most of the hybrid vehicles that any of the age groups. Middle aged consumers account for 39% of automobile sales in the world. Therefore a manager could concentrate the marketing efforts in the middle-aged bracket than targeting the younger and older age who buy either very customized automobiles for status for young or cheap compared to old people who tend to stick to model of automobile adapted to fit old people.

Gender equally affect the kind of an automobile and the kind of engineering innovations that are highly likely to be considered before buying an automobile. Women shy from buying new models that have not yet established a concert customer base in the market. Therefore, female clients are likely to buy more established brand names than new brand news because of the risk associated with new models.

Hybrid vehicle owners the middle-class who are concerned about the escalating fuel prices more than the corporate and companies that require highly powered vehicles. The level of income affects the type and kind of model that a person buys. Accordingly, major automobile owners earn to a tune of $75,000 annually. Small income earners between the range of $20,000 and 30,000 annual incomes own most of the hybrid and fuel saving per mileage automobiles (Oppenheim, 2008). The income represent the demographic group met affected by the market dynamic particularly inflation that affect their family income rates. Therefore, in order to save, these groups of lower income people need smaller, cheaper and low fuel automobiles. A company selling automobiles would encourage stocking of cheaper and more affordable vehicles for the average earners. However, higher income earners seem to be associated with luxury models of automobiles for distinction and status. When comparing on who owns more of hybrid vehicles, average income earners below $75,000 seem to own more HEVs than the higher income bracket of approximately 149,000 and above who buy luxury automobiles.

A high percentage of the luxury vehicles are bought by the white Caucasians when compared with black, Asian and American Indians. White people have a higher economic status than other ethnic people’s economic status, a factor that affects the purchasing power of each group. This information reveals that a manager could count on Caucasian clients than selling in a black ethnic neighborhood. However, a manager selling cheaper automobiles could cut a substantial niche in the black and other races market if the cheap vehicles are equally durable.  

Warranties associated with certain vehicle models attract either more or less buyers depending on the rates offered by manufacturers. For instance when in 2002, Volkswagen reduced the warranty of its vehicle models from 10 years to five years, the number of units sold in the United States, Europe and Asian markets reduced by 30% (Choi, 2006). Warranties stand for the only form of quality assurance tat a customer can reclaim form the vehicle manufactures after buying an automobile. Longer warranties may signify high quality products as opposed to short-time warranties that are highly likely to be associated by customer perceptions as low quality standards of products. Economics associate low quality to high maintenance because of the assumption that companies that produce substandard products least guarantee their automobiles fearing the soaring insurance costs and other associated costs of maintaining low quality automobiles. Another reason why a company offering longer warranty can sell more units is because customer believe that a warranty reduces the information gap concerning quality of a brand from the manufacturer to the buyer. Besides, the durability of vehicles is perceived from the amount of years warranted. All races, ages, gender and class of people want a special warranty, therefore, every manager selling automobiles needs to confirm that warranty issues by manufacturers to avoid customer dissatisfaction.

Different customer tastes and needs affect the sale of automobiles. For instance, some customers require a four door, 3-door, 5-door and a 2-door vehicle for different reasons. Lovers associated with young age and the celebrities love to use a two-door vehicle for personal privacy. On the contrary, business travelers could consider buying a wagon because of the space to carry business materials (Nezakati, Kem & Asgaris, 2001).

The category of automobile equally affects the perception of the buyer; there are seven main categories of vehicles; budget, small, entry-medium and medium categories that are synonymous with youths and middle-aged consumers who have a small budgetary allowance to allow a purchase. However, the high earning class buys usually the large, sporty, or luxury vehicle models that can supply all the expected auxiliary devises and comfort expected by the higher earning bracket. Equally, the higher income earners are likely to afford to pay insurance premiums associated with higher categories of automobiles unlike the low-income bracket that have to buy cheaper vehicles that attract lower insurance premiums. Therefore, a manager of a firm specializing in production and selling of vehicles has a duty to differentiate the low-income earners from high-income earners when considering increasing sale of automobiles. Luxury vehicles sales are forecasted to be quite high among the Caucasian whites in United States and Europe, while cheaper but designed vehicles are likely to be bought by middle and low-income earners such as the African American, African and Asians. Equally, the decision making model asserts that warranties, celebrity advertisement and perceptions within market place affect the kind of brand automobiles that sell more.    

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