The Hybrid Vehicle Market
Background to the Project thus far:
Our original group project involved constructing a research proposal with the primary objective of determining whether Ford should begin work on a new hybrid car to be released within the UK. In this proposal, whose findings we presented to a panel of Ford Directors, we initially outlined the relevant background to the problem. Following this, through the aid of substantial desk research as well as a preliminary survey, we outlined our plans to conduct more extensive market research if given the opportunity to continue working on the project. We made the Ford directors aware of what we would try to establish when carrying out our extensive research. The main questions that needed to be answered were: * Who the target market/potential buyers would be * The public’s awareness of hybrid cars * Whether to launch in the immediate future or wait (till the economy recovers) * What is a sensible price to launch the car at * How to effectively market the new hybrid car
To answer these questions we proposed to carry out three separate surveys each concentrating on answering specific questions and targeting different people. This written project will attempt to expand on these initial ideas and develop the surveys by going into more detail and critically analysing the relevance and practicality of the proposals made in the presentation.
The two topics which I have chosen to expand on as part of this project are as follows: * A first survey, which is a development and subsequent amalgamation of two of the surveys proposed in our group presentation. This will concentrate on, first and foremost, determining our potential buyers and also will also determine the public’s awareness of hybrid cars and their attitudes towards them. * A second survey which is a completely new survey that was not originally proposed in our group presentation. The purpose of this survey will be to obtain mostly qualitative information firstly regarding which bit of advertising was most effective in persuading customers to buy a Ford car and secondly to acquire valuable suggestions as to anything that might make the hybrid more popular to existing Ford customers
Survey 1 – Hybrids Anyone?
Primary Aims and Objectives: * Determine how aware of hybrid cars the public currently are * Establish the target market for the hybrid car * Try and gauge when the best time would be to launch the car and determine a sensible price
The second of the above objectives can be broken down into determining: * Which income band is more likely to be interested in purchasing a hybrid * Which age range are most likely to consider purchasing a hybrid car * How much are education (both academic and knowledge about hybrid cars) and expectation of future fuel prices linked to propensity to purchase a hybrid car * Whether it would be best to target ordinary or tech-savvy individuals
Rationale – Why these particular objectives?
This survey, and its objectives, fit in perfectly with desk research that we carried for our research proposal. This research was into the common characteristics of buyers of hybrid cars in the USA. I have used the primary findings of this research as a base on which to build my survey, so that this survey will be able to test the findings from the research and then either confirm or contradict each finding. The research’s findings are outlined below as follows:
Hybrid Drivers have much higher incomes than the average car buyer
J.D. Power 2004 Survey into buyers of hybrid cars showed that hybrid owner incomes are $100,000 a year versus $85,000 a year for the average buyer.
Topline Strategy Group 2007 survey of 118 Toyota Prius drivers found that 71% of respondents earned more than $100,000 per year.
Scarborough Research 2007 survey of approx. 1,000 hybrid drivers showed that 42%