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Car Market and Buying Behavior- A study of
Consumer Perception

Towards The Partial Fulfillment of

Post Graduate Diploma in Management

Table of Content

1. Executive Summary………………………………………06
2. Introduction………………………………………………..08
3. Overview of the Auto segment…………………………14
4. Review of Literature………………………………………20
5. Objective of the study……………………………………29
6. Scope of the study………………………………………..30
7. Research methodology………………………………….32
8. Limitation of the study…………………………………..39
9. Car’s Profile………………………………………………..40
10. Finding and Analysis…………………………………….51
11. Cross Tabulation………………………………………….68
12. Conclusion…………………………………………………71
13. Scope of the Study……………………………………….74
14. Annexure…………………………………………………...75

Executive Summary

The automobile industry today is the most lucrative industry. Due to the increase
in disposable income in both rural and urban sector and easy finance being
provided by all the financial institutes, the passenger car sales have increased at
the rate of 38% per annum in June 2005-06 over the corresponding period in the
pervious year. Further competition is heating up in the sector with a host of new
players coming in and other like Porsche, Bentley, Audi, and BMW all set to
venture in the Indian markets. One factor that could help the companies in the
marketing of their product is by knowing and creating a personality for their

This report attempts to answer some of the questions regarding brand personality
of selected cars in India by conducting the market research. This report is
categorized into parts, deals with introduction to brand personality, companies
selected, product and the industry.

The automobile industry today is the most lucrative industry. Due to the increase
in disposable income in both rural and urban sector and easy finance being
provided by all the financial institutes, the passenger car sales have increased at
the rate of 25% per annum in June 2005-06 over the corresponding period in the
previous year. Further competition is heating up in the sector with a host of new
players coming in and others like Porches, Bentley, Audi, and BMW all set to
venture in Indian markets. One factor that could help the companies in the
marketing of their products is buying Behavior of the consumers. The Buying
Behavior of the customers can be studied by knowing their perceptions about the
cars in the market and about the possible entrants in the market. One such
technique is by knowing and creating a personality for the brands.

This personality sketching will help in knowing what a customer (or a potential
customer) thinks about a given brand of car and what are the possible factors

guiding a possible purchase. Similarly, the idea of measuring the customer
satisfaction will serve the same purpose of determining the customer perception.
Thus, by measuring the” willingness of existing users of a car to recommend it to
others” will help the car manufacturers to chalk out the entire Customer Buying

The reports shall attempt to answer some of the questions regarding brand
personality of selected cars in India by conducting a market research. The market
research will be helpful for the new car entrant companies in India to find out the
possible gaps between the customer expectations and the present market
offerings. This way these companies will be able to find their share in the ever-
expanding Indian market pie.

The research will track the customer satisfaction in the following two layers:

• Product related Parameters

• Dealers related parameters

The customer satisfaction index will be calculated for the car brands taken into

It will be mainly a primary research and the information will be gathered from both
primary and secondary research. The study will analyze the applicability of
existing research concepts, theories, and tools for evaluating consumer



It is true fact that if you are satisfied you recommended to others. Word of mouth
and customer satisfaction play a very important role in determining market
perception about an automobile. It is the market perception that determines the
success of a company and so it is very important for the car manufacturers to
measure the “willingness of existing users of a product to recommend it to
others”. The same is a lot of interest to customers as well for it helps them make
the purchase decision.

A car is one of the most significant purchases that an Indian household makes
and this project addresses the most important question that perplexes car

“What makes the perfect car that influence will willfully purchase?”

The project highlights the factors that influence the buying decision of a

The factor under consideration would be:

 Price
 Income of the consumer
 Features in the car
 Safety standard
 Warranty scheme
 Finance facility

Is an Indian consumer ready for more? Which is the driving motive behind the
effective demand of the car? How the coming of new models like swift does is
going to effect the buying decision of consumer and especially the Tata 1 lakh

In other words, from the spread of choices offered by various manufacturers

under various segments, of which one the customer will finally turn the ignition on
and drive.

Customer satisfaction index: some of the most advance thinking in the business
world recognizes that customer relationships are best treated as assets, and that
methodical analysis of these relationships can provide a road map for improving

“If you cannot measure it, you cannot improve it.” – Lord William Thomson Kelvin

Clause 8.2.1 in ISO9000: 2000 states:

“As one of the measurements of the performance of the quality management

system, the organizations shall monitor information relating to customer
perception as to whether the organization has met customer requirements. The
method for obtaining and using this information shall be determined”

The requirement has been there in the QS9000 standard clause 4.1.6 which
“… Trends in customer satisfaction and key indicators of customer dissatisfaction
shall be documented and supported by objective information. These trends shall

be compared to those of competitors, or appropriate benchmarks, and reviewed
by senior management.”

There is obviously a strong link between customer satisfaction and customer

retention. Customer’s perception of service and quality of product will determine
the success of the product or service in the market.

With better understanding of customer’s perceptions, companies can determine

the actions required to meet the customer’s needs. They can identify their own
strengths and weaknesses, where they stand in comparison to their competitors,
chart out the path future progress and improvement. Customer satisfaction
measurement helps to promote an increased focus on customer outcomes and
stimulate improvements in the work practices and processes used within the

Customer expectations are the customer-defined attributes of your product or

service. We cannot create satisfaction just by meeting customer’s requirements
fully because these have to be met in any case. However falling short is certain
to create dissatisfaction.

Major attributes of customer satisfaction can be summarized as:

 Product quality
 Product packaging
 Keeping delivery commitments
 Price
 Responsiveness and ability to resolve complaints and reject reports
 Overall communication, accessibility and attitudes


+ Benefits -

Features - Attributes

We cannot begin to address the customer satisfaction issue we define the

parameters and measures clearly.

The customer satisfaction index represents the overall satisfaction level of that
customer as one number, usually as a percentage

The buying process involves the following steps:


Information search




Post Purchase

Dissatisfaction = Satisfaction =
Brand Rejection Brand Acceptance

“The fact that word of mouth sales are a big deal in this industry has also helped.
Industry players and market surveys reveal that 20-30 percent of sales are
through word of mouth”.

For the purpose of the project has undergone through

 Surveying the relevant consumer base through exhaustive questionnaire.

 Understand the elements underplaying in each segment
 Deducing A analytical overview through different statistical methods

Recommendation comes from satisfaction and satisfaction comes from

Product Quality Service Quality


Indians have emerged as avid car enthusiasts sporting their prized possessions
as status symbols and speed machines. Foreign car companies have discovered
the Indian consumer as well as the R & D potential in the Indian technical
fraternity and are setting up manufacturing plants right and left across the country
at lower costs. The Indian automobile industry is currently experiencing an
unprecedented boom in demand for all types of vehicles. This boom has been
triggered primarily by two factors:

(1) increase in disposable incomes and standards of living of middle class Indian
families estimated to be as many as four million in number; and

(2) The Indian government's liberalization measures such as relaxation of the

foreign exchange and equity regulations, reduction of tariffs on imports, and
banking liberalization that has fueled financing-driven purchases.

Industry observers predict that passenger vehicle sales will triple in

five years to about one million, and as the market grows and customer's
purchasing abilities rise, there will be greater demand for higher-end models
which currently constitute only a tiny fraction of the market. These trends have
encouraged many multinational automakers from Japan, U. S. A., and Europe to
enter the Indian market mainly through joint ventures with Indian firms.

India is increasingly becoming a global automotive hub both for the vehicles and
component industry. India is fast integrating itself into the world economy and
open to international automotive companies, who are increasingly investing in

The Indian automotive and component industry is looking to increase the quality
of production from existing levels, to develop new products and to increase
exports. In the long run India is well set to become a key market for automotive

and component manufacturers in terms of local demand and as a base for

Additionally, companies such as GM, Daimler Chrysler, Toyota, Delphi and

MICO/Bosch are utilizing India’s well developed IT / software capabilities and
have set up R&D hubs here for their global operations

Industry Size

 The domestic Indian passenger car market (including utility vehicles) totaled
900,000 units (with a CAGR of 10 per cent over the past 4 years) while the exports were
130,000 million units (with a registered CAGR of 68 per cent over the past 4 years)
during financial year 2004

 The Indian two-wheeler Industry is one of the largest in the world, and is expected to
maintain robust growth in the future

 At the back of this phenomenal automotive growth is the success of the Indian auto
component industry. Presently a US$ 6.7 billion industry, it is expected to almost treble
in less than eight years time to US$ 17 billion by 2012

 India offers a distinct technological and cost-competitive advantage, which global

Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) and automotive suppliers are leveraging for
both manufacturing and research facilities. The passenger car market is projected to
grow at a CAGR of 12.3 per cent over the next few years. Growth in the mid-size and
premium car segments is expected to outpace the overall market growth.

Indian Automobile Industry

Automobile Industry in India is still in its infancy but growing rapidly. The
opportunities in the automobile industry in India are attracting big names with the
big purse and they are investing vigorously in infrastructure, design and
development, and marketing. Automobile industry in India is today poised for the
big leap.

• India is the 2nd largest two wheeler manufacturer in the world

• Second largest tractor manufacturer in the world
• 5th largest commercial manufacturer in the world
• 3rd largest car market in Asia, surpassing China in the process

Automobile industry Contributes 17% of the total indirect taxes collected by the
exchequer & is a driver of product and process technologies, and has become a
excellent manufacturing base for global players, because of its

• high machine tool capabilities

• Extremely capable component industry
• Most of the raw material locally produced
• Low cost manufacturing base
• Highly skilled manpower
• Special capability in supplying large volumes

Indian Automobile Manufacturers in India and Plant Locations

Domestic and Foreign Vehicle Manufacturers:

Passenger Vehicles

The main domestic manufacturers of passenger vehicles are as follows:

• Maruti Udyog
• Tata / Telco
• Mahindra / Mahindra
• Hindustan Motors

Foreign competitors manufacturing locally including Hyundai, Ford, General

Motors, Honda, and Toyota.

Car demand has seen a turnaround since mid 2001 thanks to heavy
discounts and cheaper finance. A large number of new models, both locally
assembled and imported, have also revitalized the market.

In terms of volumes:
• The A/B segments are where India’s strength and future lies. The A/B
segment accounts for over 65% of the total passenger vehicles produced.
Competition in this segment is stiff with Maruti the market leader with
around 55% market share. New models from Telco (Indica), Hyundai
(Santro) and Fiat (Palio) however are eroding Maruti’s long standing
dominance in this segment.
• The mid / luxury range is developing with the introduction of Ford (Ikon),
Hyundai (Accent/Sonata) and Skoda (Octavia), although the volumes are
not significant.

• The UV segment remains sluggish with growth at just over 1%. The clear
market leader, Mahindra (44% market share) posted increased sales of
9% in the first 3 quarters of 2002/03. Toyota and Telco domestic UV
business remains flat.

Commercial Vehicles

The main Indian companies in the Commercial Vehicle segment are:

• TATA Engineering and Locomotive Company (TELCO)

• Ashok Leyland
• Bajaj Tempo Ltd
• Eicher Motors Ltd
• Swaraj Mazda

There is only one international company currently manufacturing CVs in India,

Volvo but again volumes are not large. Other global players are active, although
in partnership with one of the domestic manufacturers E.g.:- IVECO
(manufacturing their range of trucks in association with Ashok Leyland.
There has been a significant turn around in this segment over the last 18 months
with over 30% growth being seen in terms of both production and sales.
This sector has received a huge boost with India’s massive demand from the
infrastructure sector (particularly roads), cyclical fleet replacement by fleet
owners and an upturn in the cement and steel sectors.

Automobile Manufacturers Market Share

Passenger Cars LCV

0.604 Mn 0.083 Mn

Hyundai Bajaj
18% Tem po Eicher HM
Tata Ashok 7% 8% 2% M&M
13% Leyland 30%
Fiat 1%
4% Ford
Maruti 2%
55% Honda Tata Sw araj
GM 2% 44% Mazda
0.3% Daimler
Chrysler Mitsubishi Skoda 1%
0.2% 1% 1%

• Maruti (JV of Suzuki), leading the market,

• Tata and M&M are the key players

a) Followed by Hyundai and Tata, together hold close to 75% of market

b) Daewoo stopped production, mainly due to financial issues 2 years


• Review of Literature

Brand Personality

A brand is “a set of expectation and association evoked from a company or

product. A brand is how your key constituents- customers, employees,
shareholders etc. experience what you do.” Some brands are of such great
importance to people, that we speak of them as a part of one’s life and identity,
being used to express one. Some would say that these brands have their own
personality, the brand personality, which can be defined as “the set of human
characteristics associated with a given brand”. Thus, it includes such
characteristics as gender, age and socioeconomic class, as well as such classic
human personality is both distinctive and enduring.

Based on the premise that brand can have the personalities in much the same
way as humans, brand personality describe brands in terms of human
characteristics. Brand personality is seen as valuable factor in increasing brand
engagement and brand attachment, in much the same way as people relate and
bid to other people. Much of the work in the area of brand personality is based on
translated theories of human personality and using similar measures of
personality attributes and factors. Brand personality refers to the set of human
characteristics we associated with the brand. A common way of determining this
is to reply on the metaphor: “If the brand was a person, what would he/she be
like?” we then list and group the traits to describe the brand as, for example:
caring, approachable and trustworthy. However, there is a lot more we can do.

Because many people interact with brands as though they were other people, it is
important to understand what a brand personality consists of, and how its
characteristics can be used to affect the relationship between the brand and its
user. Knowing and understanding the brand personality gives a good insight into

this relationship, and into peoples’ attitudes towards the brand, and is also as
important guide to communicating the brand.


People’s personalities are determined largely through the value and beliefs they
have, and other personality characteristics they develop. An example of value or
belief is honesty.
Many people believe in being honest in everything they do and say. An example
of characteristic is confidence. This is not a belief, but more of a behavior. There
are, of course, many value/beliefs and characteristic that a person may have, but
there are some that are particularly likeable. It is these likeable values and
characteristics that people are inevitably attracted. Examples of these include
dependability, trustworthiness, honesty, reliability, friendliness, caring, and fun-

There are about two hundred words that describe personality characteristics, and
these can be used for putting personality into brands. To illustrate how people
think in personality terms when making judgments about brands, here are the
results of consumer research into how people feel about tow companies. When
asked question: “if these companies are people, how would you describe them?”
their replies were:

Company A Company B
Sophisticated Easy going
Arrogant Modest
Efficient Helpful
Self- centered Caring
Distant Approachable
Disinterested Interested

These two companies are actually competitors in a service industry. If you were
asked of these two companies you would like to be your fiends, you would
probably choose company B, as did 95% of other respondents. It is not surprising
that the service level of company B can be better experience for customers than
that of company A. it is also easy to conclude that if customers consistently
experience these differences between the two companies, then the brand image
of company B will be much better than company A.

A further point of interest arising out of this research is that people tend to prefer
brands that fit their self-concept. Everyone has views about themselves and how
they would like to be seen by others. And they tend to like personalities that are
similar to theirs, or to those whom they admire. Thus, creating brands with
personalities similar to those of a certain group of consumers will be an effective
strategy. The closer the brand personality is to the consumer personality (or one
which they admire or aspire to), the greater will be the willingness to buy the
brand and deeper the brand loyalty.

The Creation of Brand Personality

Brand personality traits are formed and influenced by any direct or indirect
contact that the consumer has with a brand. A brand, unlike a person, cannot
think, feel or act. A brand has no objective existence at all; it is simply a collection
of perception on the mind of the consumer. Consumers accept the marketing
actions to humanize brands. One explanation fort this can be found in the
theories of animism, which suggest that there exists need by people to
anthropomorphize objects in order to facilitate interaction with the nonmaterial
world. Anthropomorphize occurs when human qualities are attributed to non
human objects, e.g. brands. Consumers easily assign personality quality to

inanimate objects like brands in thinking about the brands as if they are human

In a direct way, personality traits are associated with a brand by the people
associated to that brand. One direct way to form and influence brand personality
is user imaginary. User imaginary is defined as the set of human characteristics
associated with the typical or stereotype user of the brand. Associations with the
company employees or CEO and the brand’s product endorsers are also direct
ways by which brand personality traits are formed and influenced. The
personality traits that of the people associated with a brand are transferred
directly to the brand. The theories of animism describe another process
mechanism that directly explains the specific ways in which the vitality of the
brand can be realized (Fournier, 2004). Spokespersons that are used in
advertising can have personalities that fit those of the brand they advertise. Over
time, the personalities of the spokesperson are transmitted to the brand. The
brand-person associations can also have a more personal nature. Brands can be
associated with person who use or used that particular brand, for example a
close friend or a family member. Also, brands received as gifts can also be
associated with the person from whom the gift was received. These person
associations serve to animate the brand as a vital in the minds of the consumers.
Obviously, this aspect is much less under the control of the marketers.

Indirectly, the brand personality is created by all the elements of the marketing
mix. Betra, Lehman and Singh suggest that the personality of a brand is created
over time, by the entire marketing mix of the brand - “its price (high or low, odd or
even), retail store location (imaginary associations), product formulation
(ingredients, benefits), and product form (solid/liquid. Etc.), packaging details
(color, size, material, shape), symbol; used an all phases of the brand
communication, sales promotion, and media advertising”.

Another form of animism explains how brand personality is created in a more
indirect way. This form of animism involves complete anthropomorphization of
the brand object itself. Human qualities of emotionality and thought are
transferred to the brand. This is achieved with the help of the marketing actions,
especially advertising. For example, the brand character of M&M in the M&M
commercials has the capacity to laugh and joke.

One of the advantage of the brand personality is that based on their distinctive
personalities, consumers are able to differentiate between brands. Another
advantage is that the consumer can interpret the brand’s image in such a way
that it is personally more meaningful. Brand personality encourages more active
processing on the part of the consumer. Thus, the consumer put more efforts in
creating and using the brand personality. A further advantage of brand
personality is that life is given to a brand. By vitalizing a brand, another
perspective of brand personality can be examined, namely the role of a brand as
relationship partner in a consumer-brand relationship. Next we will concentrate
on these consumer-brand relationships.

Whether the brand is a product or a company, the company has to decide what
personality traits the brand is to have. There are various ways of creating brand
personality. One way is to match the brand personality as closely as possible to
that of consumers or to the personality that they like. The process will be

 Define the target audience

 Find out what they need, want and like
 Build a consumer personality profile
 Create the product personality to match that profile

This type of approach is favored by companies such as Levi Strauss, who
research their target audience fastidiously. For Levis the results is a master
brand personality that is:

 Original
 Masculine
 Sexy
 Youthful
 Rebellious
 Individual
 Free
 American

A related byproduct brand personality (for a specific customer group) such as

Levi’s 501 jeans is:

 Romantic
 Sexually attractive
 Rebellious physically prowess
 Resourceful
 Independent
 Likes being admired

Both profile appeal mostly to the emotional side of the people’s minds- to their
feelings and sensory function. This profiling approach aims to reinforce the self-
concept of the consumers and their aspirations. The approach is ideal for brands
that adopt a market-niche strategy, and can be extremely successful if a market
segment has a degree of global homogeneity, as is the case with Levis.

Non product related brand personalities drivers

 User imaginary – user imaginary can be based on either typical users

(people you see using the brand) or idealized users (as portrayed in
advertising and else were). User imaginary can be powerful driver of brand
personality, in part because the user is already a person and thus the
difficulty of conceptualizing the brand personality is reduced. For example
Charlie has a feminine, strongly independent brand personality driven by it
user imaginary. The upscale personality of Mercedes and the sexy,
sophisticated personality of Calvin Klein are similarly influenced by user

 Sponsorship – activities such as events sponsored by the brand will

influence its personality. Swatch, for example, reinforces its offbeat,
youthful personality will targeted sponsorships that have included the
Freestyle Ski World Cup in Breckenridge, the first International

 Age – how long a brand has been on the market can affect its personality.
Thus new entrants such as Apple, MCI, and Saturn tend to have younger
brand personalities than brand such as IBM, AT&T, and Chevrolets, and it
as all too common far a major dominate brand to see as strongly and old
fashioned, a brand for older people.

 Symbol – a symbol can be powerful influence on brand personality

because it can be controlled and can have extremely strong associations.
Apples bitten apple, the Marlboro cowboy, the Michelin mans all helps to
create and reinforce a personality for their brands.

Why use brand personality

The brand personality construct can help brand strategies by enhancing their
understandings of people’s perceptions of and attitude towards the brand,
contributing to a differentiating brand identity guiding the communication effort
and creating brand equality.

 Enriching understanding

The brand personality metaphor can help a manager gain an in-depth

understanding of consumer perceptions and attitudes towards the brand.
By asking people to describe a brand personality, feelings and relationship
can be identified that often provide more insight than is gained by asking
about attribute perceptions.

 Contributing to a differentiating identity

Strategically, a brand personality, as a part of a core or extended identity,

can serve as the foundation for meaningful differentiations. Advertising
agencies such as Young & Rubicam and Ogilvy & Mather routinely include
a brand personality statement as a part of their brand positioning strategy.

 Guiding the communication effort

Tactically the brand personality concept and vocabulary communication

the brand identity which richness and texture to those who must
implement the identity building effort. Practical decisions need to be made
about not only advertising but packaging, promotions, which events to
associate with, and the style of person interactions between the customer
and the brand.

 Crating brand equity

The brand personality creates brand equity. The self-expression model

explains this. The model says that for certain groups of customers; some
brands become vehicles to express a part of their self-identity. People
express their own or idealized identity in a variety of ways, such as a job
choices, attitudes, options, activities and lifestyles. Brand that people like,
admire, discuss, buy and use also provide a vehicle for self-expression.

Brand personality of cars

Are you what you drive? That is what are companies seem to be asking and in
the same breath trying to convince you about. In other words, are you the
Hyundai accent owner who commands immediate respect wherever she goes
(including fro the potential father-in-law) or are you the suave executive from the
Chevrolet ad who is ever ready to share a moment with loved one? With a
plethora of new models in the market, and generic benefits (such as space or fuel
efficiency) of a particular car segment hardly a distinguishing factor between car
models, marketer are increasingly differentiating on the emotional pay-off a
particular car model/brand provides to the customer. This, of course, varies from
the segment to segment and also on how long a particular model has been in the

For instance, while advertising for entry level or smaller cars tends to focus more
on the rational or functional benefits of the vehicles, the differentiations is
increasingly on the emotional benefits when it comes to high end cars.
“Generally, it has been seen as one move up the value chain, the differentiation
is more on the emotional pay-off. People buy car as an extension of their
personality rather than just features. A car, in India, helps build up show off,

social esteem value. The advertising would also vary according to the segment
which one is targeting,” he says. For instance, the Chevrolet Optra ad (which
depicts a young husband driving his wife to see the moon on the occasion of
Karvachauth) shows an Optra consumer as someone who believes in family
values and indulging loves ones.

“We find that typically profile of an Optra consumer is someone who is in the age
group of 35-45years and has a chauffer. He buys a car not only for himself but
also for the family and tries to make up, for not being able to spend enough time,
by indulging love ones,” points out dutta. The positioning goes well with the
companies catch lines of “for a special journey called life”.

High end car maker Skoda auto too, through its advertising, attempts to connect
with its consumer on emotional level. “Car is the extension of the personality and
our advertising shows the consumer to be youthful, image-conscious and even
bit a macho. The campaign jointly made by Skoda’s marketing department and
ad agency IB&W not only communicates the quality of the brand but an
appreciation for the finer things in life. The target Skoda consumer is a SEC A1,
primarily male, businessman or someone in the senior management,” says
Shashank vaid, manger (marketing), Skoda Auto India. Surely, image building
does come higher in the consumer’s scheme of priorities when buying a new car
than ever before.

The importance of brand image has risen sharply in the last few years. At the
segment level, the increase in importance is greater for the mid-size cars,
indicating the relevance of brand among the more expensive market segments.
The manufacturer need to focus more o how consumers perceive them as
offering exciting cars and being committed towards them. Contemporariness of
model has a big impact on purchase decision. The perception of the car in terms
of its performance and design, quality, sales, after sales, cost of ownership, apart
from brand image, all impact upon the purchase decision.”

According to Bhatia, as long as advertising for cars is strongly differentiated and
sharply positions the model and at the same time satisfies a define need
segment, it shall have the capability to break the clutter and creates a unique and
compelling reason for consumers to purchase. “One good example of this is Ford
Ikon- the josh machine made a tremendous impact on consumers in offering to
satisfy a clear need. You can see some more of this with a recently launched
premium hatch back as well”.

Interestingly, the strategy marketer follow changes a bit when it comes to

addressing the smaller car category with the rational benefits of a brand tending
to be the focal point of the campaign. “We have found that typically a buyer for a
smaller car (sub Rs 4 lac) looks for aspects such as reliability and fuel efficiency.
This changes as we move up since in case the consumer has been with the
category for a longer time and hence it is important t to talk of an emotional pay

A case in point is the Maruti 800 campaign in which the kids who is playing with a
toy Maruti 800 exclaims to his dad (when asked how long will he keep on running
the car), “papa ki Kara, petrol khatam hi nahin Honda.” The ad cleverly conveys
that the car just keeps going on and on. It ends with the voiceover telling us that
Maruti Suzuki is most fuel-efficient car.

However in the small car segment, the rational benefits magic is not always
applicable. Take the case of Hyundai Santro, the advertising of which has
evolved over the years from initially conveying mainly the functional benefits of
the model to connecting with the consumer on an emotional level now. “When we
launched the Santro, we started with the positioning if the car being a complete
family car which was completely rational positioning. But then two things
happened- the product found acceptance in the market and the competition came
up with similar product in the market.

Brand image is not driven by good advertising alone but is significantly impacted
upon by the cars performance and design, quality, and the cost of ownership.
Among the three, product quality has the highest correlation with brand image.
Small car buyer seeks capability in advertising, and fuel efficiency is relatively
more important to them. Technology, innovation, and good influence premium
mid-size buyers. One reality for us in India is that the market is extremely
price/value conscious. While making purchases based on above, there is rational
side, which does have an impact on the decision on a particular make and model
of car. Be it rational or an emotional decision, consumers would have to think as
a bevy of new models flood the Indian market.

Objectives of Study

The research objective is a statement, in as precise terminology as possible, of

what information is needed. The research objective should be framed so that
obtaining the information will ensure that the research purpose is satisfied.

Research objective have three components.

Research question –

The research question specifies the information the decision making needs. The
responsibility of the researcher is to make the researcher question as specific
and precise as possible. The researcher question asks what specific information
is required to achieve the research purpose, or answer the research problem. If
the research questions are answered by the research, then the information
should aid the decision maker.

Development of hypothesis –

A hypothesis is a possible answer to a question. Development of hypotheses

implies generating basically alternative answers to research questions. The
research determines which of these alternative answers is correct. It is not
always possible to develop hypotheses, but efforts should be made.

Scope or boundaries of the research -

Defining the scope of the research or the research boundaries ensures the
desired precision or accuracy of the result.

The researcher’s responsibility is to restate the initial variables associated with
the decision problem, that is convert the research problem, in the form of one or
more key question formats-

• How
• What
• Where
• When
• Why

Objectives of the Research

The research objectives for the project undertaken can be defined as follows:

• To determine the demographic variables of the customers of different

brands of cars.
• Examine the customer perception about the cars.
• To judge the satisfaction level of car owners of different brands.
• The research tracks responses at following two layers

1. Product related parameters

2. Dealer related parameters

• To analyze the psychographic variables of the customers of different

brand of the cars.

Scope of the study

It is aimed to study the car market and buying behavior of the customer. The
project is analyzed the demographic, psychographic and buying characteristics of
the customers in buying the car. It includes the detailed study of customers
focusing on the various parameters that lead to identifying and understanding the
perception of the customer in buying the car brands.

Significance of the study

A brand is a set of expectations and associations evoked from company or

product. A brand is how key constituents- customers, employees etc.

experiences what you do. Some brands are of such great importance to people,
that we speak of them as a part of one’s life and identity, being used to express
one. Some would say that these brands have their own personality, the brand
perception, which can be defined as the set of human characteristics associated
with a given brand.

Because many people interact with brand as though they were other people, it is
important to understand what a brand perception consists of, and how its
characteristics can be used to affect the relationship between the brands and its
users. Knowing and understanding the brand perception gives a good insight into
this relationship, and into peoples’ attitudes towards the brand, and is also an
important guide to communicating the brand.

Like apparel and lifestyles brands, a car is extension of one’s perception. People
buy cars which either matches their personalities or those which provide them
opportunities of being perceived as somebody they aspire to be. This becomes
significant as consumers move up the value chain from small compact cars to
midsize and upwards.

Research Methodology
A research process consists of stages or steps that guide the project from its
conception through the final analysis, recommendations and ultimate actions.
The research process provides a systematic, planned approach to the research
project and ensures that all aspects of the research project are consistent with
each other.

Research studies evolve through a series of steps, each representing the answer
to a key question.

R e s e a rc


This chapter aims to understand the research methodology establishing a

framework of evaluation and revaluation of primary and secondary research. The
techniques and concepts used during primary research in order to arrive at
findings; which are also dealt with and lead to a logical deduction towards the
analysis and results.


I propose to first conduct a intensive secondary research to understand the full

impact and implication of the industry, to review and critique the industry norms
and reports, on which certain issues shall be selected, which I feel remain
unanswered or liable to change, this shall be further taken up in the next stage of
exploratory research. This stage shall help me to restrict and select only the
important question and issue, which inhabit growth and segmentation in the

The various tasks that I have undertaken in the research design process are :
 Defining the information need
 Design the exploratory, descriptive and causal research.


The research process has four distinct yet interrelated steps for research analysis

It has a logical and hierarchical ordering:
 Determination of information research problem.
 Development of appropriate research design.
 Execution of research design.
 Communication of results.

Each step is viewed as a separate process that includes a combination of task ,

step and specific procedure. The steps undertake are logical, objective,
systematic, reliable, valid, impersonal and ongoing.

The method I used for exploratory research was

 Primary Data
 Secondary data


New data gathered to help solve the problem at hand. As compared to secondary
data which is previously gathered data. An example is information gathered by a
questionnaire. Qualitative or quantitative data that are newly collected in the
course of research, Consists of original information that comes from people and
includes information gathered from surveys, focus groups, independent
observations and test results. Data gathered by the researcher in the act of
conducting research. This is contrasted to secondary data which entails the use
of data gathered by someone other than the researcher information that is

obtained directly from first-hand sources by means of surveys, observation or

Primary data is basically collected by getting questionnaire filled by the


Information that already exists somewhere, having been collected for another
purpose. Sources include census reports, trade publications, and subscription
services. Data that have already been collected and published for another
research project (other than the one at hand). There are two types of secondary
data: internal and external secondary data. Information compiled inside or
outside the organization for some purpose other than the current investigation.
Data that have already been collected for some purpose other than the current
study. Researching information which has already been published. Market
information compiled for purposes other than the current research effort; it can be
internal data, such as existing sales-tracking information, or it can be research
conducted by someone else, such as a market research company or the U.S.
government. Published, already available data that comes from pre-existing sets
of information, like medical records, vital statistics, prior research studies and
archival data.

Secondary source of data used consists of books and websites

My proposal is to first conduct a intensive secondary research to understand the

full impact and implication of the industry, to review and critique the industry
norms and reports, on which certain issues shall be selected, which I feel remain
unanswered or liable to change, this shall be further taken up in the next stage of
exploratory research.


STEPS in the descriptive research:

 Statement of the problem

 Identification of information needed to solve the problem

 Selection or development of instruments for gathering the information

 Identification of target population and determination of sampling Plan.

 Design of procedure for information collection

 Collection of information

 Analysis of information

 Generalizations and/or predictions


Data collection took place with the help of filling of questionnaires. The
questionnaire method has come to the more widely used and economical means
of data collection. The common factor in all varieties of the questionnaire method
is this reliance on verbal responses to questions, written or oral. I found it
essential to make sure the questionnaire was easy to read and understand to all
spectrums of people in the sample. It was also important as researcher to respect
the samples time and energy hence the questionnaire was designed in such a
way, that its administration would not exceed 4-5 mins. These questionnaires
were personally administered.

The first hand information was collected by making the people fill the
questionnaires. The primary data collected by directly interacting with the people.
The respondents were contacted at shopping malls, markets, places that were
near to showrooms of the consumer durable products etc. The data was
collected by interacting with 200 respondents who filled the questionnaires and
gave me the required necessary information. The respondents consisted of
house wives, students, business men, professionals etc. the required information
was collected by directly interacting with these respondents.



It is a description of the characteristics of that group of people from whom a

course is intended. It attempts to describe them as they are rather than as the
describer would like them to be. Also called the audience the audience to be
served by our project includes key demographic information (i.e.; age, sex
etc.).The specific population intended as beneficiaries of a program. This will be
either all or a subset of potential users, such as adolescents, women, rural
residents, or the residents of a particular geographic area. Topic areas:
Governance, Accountability and Evaluation, Operations Management and
Leadership. A population to be reached through some action or intervention; may
refer to groups with specific demographic or geographic characteristics. The
group of people you are trying to reach with a particular strategy or activity. The

target population is the population I want to make conclusions about. In an ideal
situation, the sampling frames to matches the target population. A specific
resource set that is the object or target of investigation. The audience defined in
age, background, ability, and preferences, among other things, for which a given
course of instruction is intended.
I have selected the sample trough Simple random Sampling


This involves figuring out how many samples one need.

The numbers of samples you need are affected by the following factors:

• Project goals

• How you plan to analyze your data

• How variable your data are or are likely to be

• How precisely you want to measure change or trend

• The number of years over which you want to detect a trend

• How many times a year you will sample each point

• How much money and manpower you have

I have targeted 100 people in the age group above 21 years for the purpose of
the research. The sample size is influenced by the target population. The target
population represents the Delhi regions. . The people were from different
professional backgrounds.

The details of our sample are explained in chapter named primary research
where the divisions are explained in demographics section.


Simple random sampling technique has been used to select the sample

A simple random sample is a group of subjects (a sample) chosen from a larger

group (a population). Each subject from the population is chosen randomly and
entirely by chance, such that each subject has the same probability of being
chosen at any stage during the sampling process. This process and technique is
known as Simple Random Sampling, and should not be confused with Random


Interviewer error

There is interviewer bias in the questionnaire method. Open-ended questions can

be biased by the interviewer’s views or probing, as interviewers are guiding the
respondent while the questionnaire is being filled out. The attitudes the
interviewer revels to the respondent during the interview can greatly affect their
level of interest and willingness to answer openly. As interviewers probing and
clarifications maximize respondent understanding and yield complete answers,
these advantages are offset by the problems of prestige seeking, social
desirability and courtesy biases.

Questionnaire error

The questionnaire designing has to careful so that only required data is concisely
reveled and there is no redundant data generated. The questions have to be
worded carefully so that the questions are not loaded and does not lead to a bias
in the respondents mind

Respondent error

The respondents selected to be interviewed were not always available and willing
to co operate also in most cases the respondents were found to not have the
knowledge, opinion, attitudes or facts required additionally uninformed response
errors and response styles also led to survey error.

Sampling error

We have taken the sample size of 100, which cannot determine the buying
behavior of the total population. The sample has been drawn from only National
Capital Region.

Research Design

Research design is a conceptual structure within which research is conducted. A

research design is the detailed blueprint used to guide a research study towards
its objective. It is a series of advanced decision taken together comprising a
master plan or a model for conducting the research in consonance with the
research objectives. Research design is needed because it facilitates the smooth
sailing of the various research operations, thereby making research as efficient
as possible yielding maximum information with the minimum effort, time and

Limitations of the study

• All the research projects are hindered in their smooth flow by some
unforeseen problems. The problems arise in the form of constraints by
budget, time and scope of the study. The current project was also faced by
certain problem. Some of the problems faced in the course of the research
are as follows:

• A strong unwillingness on the part of the owners of various cars, to

participate and aid the research.

• The boredom and wavering concentration that set in among the

respondents while answering the long questionnaire: thus in turn led to the
difficulty of preventing incomplete questionnaires.

• Sampling error: the research include a sample size of 100 customers

which is not enough to determine the brand perception of the consumers
for buying the cars. Since its not a census survey there is always a chance
of error while extrapolating the results of a sample study over the
population especially in those researches where the qualitative aspects
are concerned. So it’s always doubtful to map the qualitative aspects using
a quantitative measure.

• The study was limited to the geographical region of DELHI

• Car’s Profile

Maruti Udyog Limited
Maruti Udyog Limited is the premier car company in India. Maruti Udyog Limited
(MUL) was established in Feb 1981. The company entered into collaboration with
Suzuki Motor Corporation of Japan to manufacture cars. Maruti is the highest
volume car manufacturer in Asia, outside Japan and Korea.

Maruti Udyog Limited, the largest Car selling company in India, has many unique
Service advantages for the customers. It has bagged the First Position in JD
Power Customer Satisfaction Index for the consecutive two years. The company
has also ranked highest in the India Sales Satisfaction Study.

1. Estilo

Maruti launched all new Estilo. If you are wondering why I dropped Zen from this
car's name then let me explain. Estilo has got Wagon R's engine and chassis and
Suzuki MR Wagon's shape. Whatever remains is taken from Zen, well does
anything remains actually? Yes, Name! Name is taken from Zen, 'Zen Estilo'. In
essence it’s stylish Wagon R, Japan's MR Wagon, combination of the two or
anything but Zen. It seems Maruti wants to exploit Zen brand-image hence
named this car after Zen.

Zen Estilo has the same engine (1061cc, 64.8ps, 84Nm, 4-cylinder, 16-valve,
MPFI F10D Petrol) under the hood that is found in Maruti Wagon R. Absolutely
nothing has been changed except for the fact that this engine is much refined
and is slightly better at responsiveness and fuel economy. This simply translate
into 'Zen Estilo is a bit faster and more fuel economic than Wagon R'. Due to
highly good drivability, driving in city would be more fun with Zen Estilo.

Electronic Power Steering (not available in LX version) really helps in crowded
traffic. Owning and maintaining Zen Estilo won't be a problem, engine is proven
reliable and virtually maintenance-proof.

2. Wagon R Duo

At first glance the Maruti WagonR Duo looks quite normal. Well, that is if you
think the WagonR's boxy looks are normal to start to start with. Frankly, for a car
that has to get around a city, I really don't care, because the Duo is all about
LPG, and the fact that it is first factory fitted LPG car in India. Factory-fitted
means one major plus, your warranties don't get voided because of the gas

There is no denying the cars cost advantage, this is the cheapest Maruti vehicle
to run, and that in itself is a massive statement. The redesign of the car hasn't
just meant a fresh exterior look; it has also meant new interior - rotary controls on
the panel and a very neat looking display with an all new Speedo.

The problem is that despite the not insignificant cost savings, you save a rupee a
kilometer on LPG over Petrol, which even makes the extra Rs 24000 you have to
pay for the car seem worth it, the Duo just wheezes at times. And this is despite
two important facts, first LPG has more energy than CNG (that other gas) and
because this is a company designed car, Maruti engineers have really played
around with the engines tuning.

3. Swift

Competing with the other cars of Maruti, Maruti Swift is gradually making its
position in the world of mid-sized family car. Maruti Swift has come up with the
special technical specifications of 16 valve 4-cylinder, 1300 cc engine generating
power. Maruti swift is equipped with various safety features and well advanced

equipments. 3 assist grips, 3 spoke urethane steering wheel, antenna, cabin light
(3 position), console box (lower), cup holders (front 2, rear1), front door trim
pockets, green tinted glass window, halogen headlamps, headlamp leveling
device, heater and manual Air conditioning, OVRM (internally adjusted), rear fog
lamps, wind screen wiper 2 speed plus 1 speed intermittent, tailgate opener key
type, trip meter (digital display), sun visors (both sides), brake assist , child lock
(rear door), high mounted stop lamp, power steering, rear seat belts etc. are the
features available in this model. Apart from the features found in other model,
striking features of this model are black colored A & B pillars, 12v accessory
socket in center console, day and night rear view mirror, door ajar warming lamp,
driver's seatbelt warning lamp, tachometer, driver's seat belt warning lamp, vanity
mirrors (sun visor co-driver side), rear seat head restraints, fabric accented door
trims, central door locking (4 door), front and rear electronic windows, front fog
lamps, light off/ key reminder, manual air-conditioning, key not removed warning
buzzer, etc

4. Maruti Baleno

This mid size car with its bold and elegant looks along with its smart performance
is becoming the part of the dream of many car lovers.


• Pearl Silver
• Silky Silver
• Superior White
• Midnight Black
• Bean Blue

Along with the features present in Lxi, there are many other extra features
available in this model like leather steering cover, automatic climate control, rear
spoiler with LED stop lamp, stylish alloy wheels, MP3 music system, silver finish
centre garnish, remote keyless entry etc.

has various effective comfort and safety features like tilt adjust power steering,
central lock door locking, electric windows, tachometer, trip meter, "key not
removed" warning buzzer, AC illumination system, cigarette lighter, ash tray
illumination, electrically operated AC louver switches, semi concealed windshield
wiper (2 speed plus 2 controlled intermittent), front and rear mud flaps, day/night
inside rear view mirror, velour floor carpet, front door armrests and pockets (both
sides), rear door child lock, lockable glove box, side impact beams etc.

5. Maruti Esteem

Sophisticated big structured Maruti Suzuki esteem is one of the old car of the
Maruti Udyog group. To run this huge car its engine is made of lightweight all-
aluminum. This contemporary engine has capacity of 65 bhp at 6000 rpm.

According to *Mileage (Auto India, Nov 2005), Esteem holds the topmost position
on mileage among the other category of cars including the small cars.

There are three models of Maruti Suzuki Esteem:

• Maruti Esteem (Lx)

• Maruti Esteem (Lxi)
• Maruti Esteem (Vxi)

The basic model of Maruti Suzuki Esteem includes various safety features and
unique configuration in it. Air conditioned Maruti Suzuki Esteem for the comfort of
the owner provides the facilities of cabin heater, front seat back pockets (both
sides), front door pockets (both sides), air flow controls, remote operated fuel
tank lid and trunk lid, coat hanger hook on grip assistance etc..

Instrument panel of this model includes tachometer and speedometer with sporty
dial. Security measurement of this model has headlamp leveling device,
collapsible steering column, lockable glove box, child proof rear door locks,
halogen headlamps, prismatic day-night inside rear view mirror etc.

This model is more upgraded version of Maruti Suzuki (Lx). Apart from the
features that are already in MarutiSuzuki (Lx), there are other few more added
features existing in Maruti Suzuki (Lxi). For comfort these models specially have
rear view mirror on the left side, power steering and power window (front).

Hyundai Motor

Hyundai Motor India Limited (HMIL) was established in 1996 and is a wholly
owned subsidiary of South Korean multi national, Hyundai Motor Company. HMIL
is the fastest growing and the second largest car manufacturer in India and
presently selling 30 variants of passenger cars in six segments. The Company
has set up more than 70 dealer workshops that are equipped with the latest
technology, machinery, and international quality press, body and paint shops,
across the country, thereby providing a one-stop shop for a Hyundai customer.
Hyundai also has a fleet of 78 emergency road service cars that can provide
emergency service to all its customers anytime, anywhere.

6. Hyundai Santro

In the field of mid size car, Santro Xing is capturing the market very rapidly. Its
design, style, space and other special features has made it one of the highest
purchasable cars among any economy class.

It has five variants:

• Santro XK
• Santro XK (Non AC)
• Santro XL
• Santro XO
• Santro AT

Along with the other features that are present in Santro XK (Non AC), other
features present in this model are air conditioner, day and night inside rear view
mirror, chrome1 radiator grille etc. Along with the features available in Santro XK,
added features in this model are 4 doors CLS, passenger side OVRM, tinted
glass, map pocket front door driver side, front door full size arm rest, door trim
with fabric insert, hydraulic power steering, power windows (front) etc

7. Getz

Hyundai Motors launched small family car Getz at August 2004. Euro III emission
norms fulfilled Car, Getz powered by 1300 cc. engine. Only the petrol version of
this car was launched initially.

There are four variants found in this car:

• Hyundai Getz GLS

• Hyundai Getz GLX
• Hyundai Getz GVS

This model has highly advanced features like AC with 4 speed blower, ash tray
w/o illumination, center console w/ pen and jug holder, 60:40 rear seat split,
vanity mirror passenger side, rear defogger, height adjustable seat belts (front),
waist line molding, tilt steering, map pockets, front and rear power windows, rear
seat back inclination(4 position), digital clock, rear wiper and washer, front for
lamp, body color radiator grille, rear bumper reflectors, rear mud guard etc. Few
features to view comfort and safety in mind, this model is being specially
equipped with rear wiper and washer, rear defogger, alloy wheels etc. This model
has few important features like height adjustable front seat belts, body colored
radiator grille, rear bumper reflectors etc.

8. Hyundai Accent

Hyundai Accent was ceremonially launched at Frankfurt International Motors

Show on 15 September, 1999. It came in two versions, i.e. Petrol and Diesel
Versions in India initially, while in Europe it was introduced only with the Petrol
version. Initially Accent came up with the manual transmission which in turn
started getting available in automatic transmission. To know about the models of
this car, please see this following text:

• Hyundai Accent GLE

• Hyundai Accent GLS
• Hyundai Accent Viva

• Hyundai Accent Viva CRDi
• Hyundai Accent CRDi

This model has many distinctive features like 60:40 split folding rear seats,
automatic trunk lamps, body colored door handles, bumper with or without
molding, door trims and consoles, high mounted stop lamps (HMSL), Mist (one
stoke wiper blades), semi cloth upholstery, trip odometer, rear license garnish,
waistline molding, wiper (3 no. of speed), cross bar under dash board, crumple
zone, dual horn, engine sub frame etc. Features that are striking in this models
are tinted glass, remote boot release, split rear seats, tachometer, remote fuel
cap release, sun visors with vanity mirror, power telescopic antenna, luxury full
cloth upholstery, energy absorbing collapsible steering column, full size wheel
cover etc.

9. Verna

The most awaited Verna finally launched in India. Verna can be considered as
one of the most shock wave-creating cars in India; within first five days of its
launch over 2000 Verna cars had been sold. Competition seems to be in shock.

Comfort levels are quite good, I wasn't expecting them to be like this, and there is
marginal refinement over Accent. Suspensions give you a feel, 'yes this car is
meant for India', no bumpy rides. Car handles very well too. Interiors are not
class, as expected, though they don't give a cheap feeling at all. City is way
ahead of Verna in interiors and room. Driving position is good and to make it
even better, height-adjustable driver-seat is provided in higher versions. AC is
quite effective, cools the cabin quickly. Due to enough power, switching on AC
doesn't make any difference in performance.

Exterior design is satisfactory. Its neither great to boast about nor is bad to
complaint about. Like all other Hyundai car designs, people have started to

criticize Hyundai for design of Verna. After having first glance of Verna, one of colleagues called out, 'Hey, it looks like Baleno from front and
Fiesta from behind!'. You can't help it, it’s inevitable with Hyundai. ABS is
available as optional across the range. It’s a bit disappointing that Airbags are not
provided even as optional. Central Locking is available as standard feature in all
the versions and keyless entry in petrol versions except the lowest-end Verna i.

Finally Indian automotive industry is taking good shape. We have enough options
in every segment available. From Maruti to Tata to Honda to Volkswagen to
BMW to Porsche, every major world car player is interested to sell its cars to
Indian people. Everyday we have news about some new launch. Verna is just
launched and Ford has just announced launch of 1.6 TDCi (diesel) in two months
time, Maruti has confirmed discontinuation of Baleno and arrival of new Baleno
early next year and last but not the least Chevrolet is planning diesel Aveo soon.

Tata Motors Limited

Tata Motors Limited is India's largest automobile company, with revenues of Rs.
24,000 crores in 2005-06. Its name comes first in the category of commercial
vehicles and the second largest in the passenger vehicles, mid size car and utility
vehicle segments. The company is the world's fifth largest medium and heavy
commercial vehicle manufacturer.

Over 3.5 million Tata vehicles is moving on Indian roads, since 1954. Its
manufacturing plant is located at Jamshedpur, Pune and Luck now

10. Tata Indica V2

Having attributes of three popular cars, Tata Indica is ruling the market. Making
of Tata Indica with the concept of main distinguishing features of three popular

cars i.e., with the overall structure of Maruti Zen, interior space like ambassador
and cost nearly like Maruti 800 was a challenging venture of Tata Motors.
Its fully foldable rear seat has made this car more accommodating for extra
luggage. For safe and secure driving and to give proper comfort, side-impact
beams, rigid monochrome frame and child safety locks are attached to this car.

Different Tata Indica models are:

• Tata Indica V2

With its market catching looks and few striking features have set a trend for the
choosy buyers. Its power steering, central locking system, four power windows
have not only made this comfort driving car but also give assurance for the
safety. To mention more about convenience of driving, HVAC system provides
good cooling effect even in a sultry summer days. Door handles, body colored
bumpers, ORVM and wheel arch flair are few more advantages that the owner of
this car can easily avail.

To assure safer driving along with the elegance and appeal of the car, this model
is equipped with body colored bumpers, the wheel arch flairs, internally
adjustable OVRM and central locking system. To avoid any inconvenience in
operating the window, front windows are power windows. To avoid the scorching
heat in a summer days, HVAC system of cooling can soothe anybody inside the

11. Tata Indigo

Indigo with its market catching features like leather upholstery, beige interiors,
LCD screen etc has made its position in the automobile industry.

Indigo is available in Petrol and Diesel models.

• Petrol Variants
o Indigo GLE
o Indigo GLS
o Indigo GLX

It is equipped with various features like manual power steering, manual front and
rear windows, grey bumpers, half wheel covers, partial fabric lining on seat,
molded roof lining, high mounted stop lamp etc. To mention few of the features
present in this model along with the features of rest of the two models, there are
available power steering and power windows, rear fog lamps, rub rails on door,
full wheel covers, both sides outer rear view mirrors, rear defogger, central
locking, audio warning signal for driver seat belt and many more.

12. Indigo Marina

Fully equipped with 32 bit micro processor and 1405 cc MPFI Petrol engine, this
variant delivers maximum power of 85 PS @ 5500 rpm and maximum torque of
11kgm @ 3000 rpm.

It has various features like AC system,2 spoke wheel, grey bumpers, chrome-
plated grill lip, black door handles, roof rails, partial wheel covers, digital clock,
internal antenna, partial fabric seats, anti-submarine type front seats, child safety
locks on rear doors, collapsible steering column, side impact beams etc
This model along with the features of Indigo Marina GLE comes with various
other features like HVAC system, aluminum gear shift knob, 4 spoke wheel,

power steering, body colored bumpers, rub rails on door, full wheel covers,
stylish grip and cover for hand brake lever etc.

Its king like entry happened in India in 1928 with its National Series AB touring.
Reliability of this car was proved by its 171 cubic inches, 24.7hp four cylinder

General Motors, parent company of Chevrolet, was the first in setting up

assembly plant in India. First office of Chevrolet was located at Mumbai and its
assembly plant was in Sewree.

13. Chevrolet Aveo

With the assurance of safety and technologically advanced equipments,

Chevrolet Aveo provides complete statement of reliability and efficiency. Safety
features like tailor welded blanks, high- strength steel structure, B-pillar, height
adjustable safety belt anchors, rear child safety door locks, front safety belt
pretension etc really confirm the security of the passenger.

It has four variants:-

• Aveo 1.4 E*
• Aveo 1.4
• Aveo 1.4 LS
• Aveo 1.6 LT

It is well equipped with 1.4L DOHC 94 PS, 5 Speed MT, chrome radiator grille,
wide 185/60 R14 tyres, pullout type door handle, two tone beige interiors, power
steering and power window, central locking, rear defogger with timer, remote
trunk lid opener, engine service soon indicator etc. It is well equipped with 1.4L
DOHC 94 PS, 5 Speed MT, chrome radiator grille, wide 185/60 R14 tyres, pullout
type door handle, two tone beige interiors, power steering and power window,
central locking, rear defogger with timer, remote trunk lid opener, engine service
soon indicator etc. Its main mentionable features along with the other features
which are associated with the rest of the models, are 1.6L DOHC 102 PS, 5
speed MT; double DIN MP3 system with 6 speakers; rear spoiler with CHMSL;
chrome coated exterior handles and trunk lid garnish; 14" alloy wheels;
electrically adjustable OVRM; wood finish on IP and door trim; car alarm and key
less entry system.

14. Optra

With its 1.8 litre engine capacity runs up to 8.1 kmpl inside the city crowd roads
and 11.2 kmpl on the highway. Its luxurious and comfortable interior include
center console, central armrest, flip down rear armrest, automatic climate control
air conditioners, enough legroom space, sunglass holder, mobile phone holding
space in the rear door, cup holders etc.

It has various variants:

• 1.6 Elite
• 1.6 LS Elite
• 1.6 LT Royale
• 1.8 LT
• 1.8 LT AT

It is equipped with various comfort and safety features like driver seat height
adjuster, plush feel beige fabric, silver finish on control panel and luxurious wood
finish on IP and door boards etc. Along with the features present in 1.6 Elite, this
is available with tilt steering, remote keyless entry with chirp and trunk opening,
AWIS, driver seat lumbar support, front fog lamps, body colored outside mirrors
and door handles etc. There are many extra features present in this model along
with the features of 1.6 LT Royale like automatic climate control system, all round
wood finish including Centre Panel, tilt adjustable front headrests, 15" alloy
wheels with ABS and EBD as option at extra cost, rear disc brakes, dual airbag,
double DIN audio system with 5 CD changer.


•Cross Tabulation

Q1. Why you bought your present car? Please rank from the highest order of

1. Increase in disposable income

2. Better safety at roads
3. Family needs
4. Increase in family size
5. Suits your lifestyle and personality



As per the analysis shows, increase in disposable income seems to be the

most important reason for buying a car. This trend is reflected in the growth of
the Per capita Disposable income and consequently the growth of the Indian
automobile industry especially in the B and C segment cars. Similarly, the
growing family needs like working partners, increasing family size, status, etc.
add to the motives of buying a car.

Q2. You decided to buy a car brand because of (rate best 3 factors from 1 to 3 in
order of your preference)

1. Affordable price
2. Technical superiority over competition
3. Comfort
4. Manufacturer’s image
5. Value for money
6. Safety
7. After sale services

Product S



Indian market is still the hard nut to crack for most of the automobile
manufacturers. Though the Indian car industry is among the fastest growing car
markets of the world still the Indian psyche is too complex for the manufacturers
to understand. The most important reason for buying a car when it comes to B
and C segment cars seems to be ‘value for money’. 32% of the respondents
suggested that affordable prices are the most important factor while purchasing a


car. This is the reason for sticking to a particular segment till the next substantial
rise in the personal disposable income. This reason is followed by ‘Value for
money’ where the customers look for the best product, best services and best
repute all bundled in one with the best deal they can strike. This explains the
reason for the stagnant or sudden growth in sale of B and C segment cars just
before budget and near occasions like Diwali.

Product Satisfaction Level

Q3. Please rate your existing car in terms of understated Interior Design features
on a scale of 1 to 5 where

1 Highly Dissatisfied
2 Dissatisfied
3 Neutral
4 Satisfied
5 Highly Satisfied

Interior Type 1 2 3 4 5
Seats design
Leg Room
Dash Board
Interior Colour
Music System
Adjustable Front seat Headrest


3 3 3

1 1
80% 1

4 4
4 68

Interiors play a very important role in deciding the sale of a car. More plush,
comfortable and exotic the interiors are more are the chances of its being popular
among the customers. For this reason manufacturers spend billions of dollars
every year on R&D to continuously improve the interiors of their cars. Seats, leg
room, dash board, armrests etc are few of the options which count for the
interiors. As the analysis show Getz scores substantially high w.r.t. its
counterparts on the account of music system installed. Similarly, Indica V2 races
far ahead as far as leg room is concerned. However, Wagon R fares badly on
this front. Overall, almost all cars get a mixed response in this segment as far as
the interiors are concerned.

Customer S

3 3 3
Satisfaction level ( in %age)

80% 3 3 3

4 4 4
As one can see most of the respondents are quite happy with the interiors of
their respective cars. However, one striking point observed here are that almost
every car fares neutral on the adjustable front seat headset. These cars have

3 4
more leg room, come with attached music systems (Verna fares the best among 4
all cars on this front) combined with luxury features like TV screens, armrests at
the back seat etc.

4 4 4

4 4 4

0% 70
Q4. Please rate your existing car in terms of understated Safety features on a
scale of 1 to 5

Safety Parameters 1 2 3 4 5
Crossbar under Dashboard
Air Bags
Anti Lock Breaking System
Aerodynamic Shape
Intensity of front lights


r Satisfaction Level ( %age)

90% 3
4 5

As can be noted Maruti Swift and Indica V2 fight neck to neck on almost every
60% 4
front, with Indica marginally better in features like crossbars under the dashboard 4
and Anti Brake systems. Most of the cars in this segment fare relatively similar
and very close to each other on most of the fronts.

3 4

Customer S


90% 3 3 4

Customer satisfaction level

70% 3
3 3
As one can see most of the respondents are quite happy with the safety

parameters of their respective cars. However, one striking point observed here
are that almost every car fares neutral on the safety parameters.

50% 4
4 4


30% 1 1 3

4 4
Q5. Please rate your existing car in terms of following parameters

Parameter 1 2 3 4 5
Fuel Consumption
Mileage ( Km/ltr)
Pick Up
Stability at higher speed
Top speed

Customer Sa

Satisfaction Level ( %age)

90% 3 3


Interpretation: 3
The customer choice of the car highly depends upon the performance and 4
maintenance costs of the car. This is the reason why this class of parameter was
chosen for this study. And the results show that Maruti’s Wagon R fares the best
car in its segment as most fuel efficient car of all. Similarly, Wagon R fares the
best on the terms like mileage but it lags behind Hyundai’s Santro on pick up
front. So this segment shows a mixed bag of response for the Fuel efficiency and
40% 73
mileage parameter. Indica V2 performs consistently on all the parameters and
Getz fares really well on pick up whereas it fares badly on fuel consumption.
Considered this condition for Getz it should be seen as a red signal for the
manufacturers so that Getz does not end up being like Fiat’s Palio famous as a
car for ‘drinking petrol.

Customer Satisf


ustomer Satisfaction Level ( in %age

4 4 5


Segment C cars are known as hybrid car segment between the B segments fuel
efficiency with the luxury of the D class. Checking the same it seems that most of
3 4 4

the cars in this segment are placed much closed to each other with very little
difference here and there. Most of the cars are fuel efficient w.r.t their weights
and pick ups. Indigo fares as the best car in terms of fuel efficiency. Baleno fares
a little bit behind than its counterparts as far as the stability at high speeds and
mileage is concerned.
3 3


3 4
Dealer Service Satisfaction Level

Q1. Please rate your Dealer on the understated parameters on the scale of 1 to 5

1 Highly Satisfied
2 Satisfied
3 Neutral
4 Dissatisfied
5 Highly Dissatisfied
1 2 3 4 5
Distance ( Proximity)
Advertisements (Promotions)
Technical Facilities
Cost of Service
Availability of Spares
Information Provided
Service Time
Car Handling ( Delivery & service)
Assured Customer Transactions
Ambience of Service Center
Finance ( Credit) Schemes

Dealers are the middle men between a car manufacturer and its customers.
Dealer thus becomes the most important link in joining the company to its
customers as he is the person who will sell the product, will deliver it and will
keep on providing the after sales services to the customers as and when
required. So, it becomes necessary automatically to study dealer as a part of
customers’ satisfaction journey with the product called car!

Why Maruti fares so well ahead of its competitors till date and its the
largest car company in India with the largest market share in A and B segment is

because during the protected regime it build a dealers network so strong that its
yet very difficult for most of the competitors to set up a network as large as
Maruti. So wherever you go its not difficult to find a Maruti service station and a
Maruti dealer. This is how Maruti has maintained relationships with its customers
and has been able to convert most of them into a repeat customer. So, dealer
network is something of such importance that while studying the customer’s
satisfaction profile its almost impossible to ignore it.

Custom er S

stomer Satisfaction Level ( in %age terms)

90% 2
4 4 4
2 3
3 important role in deciding the
While buying a car, dealers ‘choice play a very
company and model’s choice. So dealers act as influencers on the complete
buying behavior of the prospective customers. Among all the listed factors4Maruti
fares the best among all its counter parts in terms of dealer density which is quite
obvious. Also, the cost of service provided by Maruti dealers is the lowest
followed by Tata Motors. Similarly, for B and C segment cars Maruti emerges out

as the clear winner among the four car companies studied all thanks to the vast,
5 4
extensive and well managed dealer system.

0% 78
Q2. How do you rate the brand image of your car?

1 2 3 4 5
Very Low Very High

Customer Perception ( Avg)

As per the analysis, Santro is the car whose brand image is most preferred in the
market. This is because of the reason, that it’s from the house of Hyundai a
South Korean company known for its overall image. On the contrary Maruti Estilo
and Aveo share the same platform on the brand image. This can be attributed to
the fact that both these cars are relatively new on the block and market takes
time to imbibe and give the brand an image. This is established by the fact that
Maruti’s Wagon R and Swift are exactly the same as far as the image is

2 4 4
3 79

Customer Perception ( Avg)

As the analysis reveals GM’s Optra fares as the Best Car as far as customers’
perception is concerned about the brand image of the car in the C segment. This
is because of the fact that GM itself commands an amazing brand image among
its customers. Accent and Verna both Hyundai cars share the same position.

2 4 4
Q3. Will you recommend your car to your friends?

• Yes
• No





It seems logical that satisfied customers will someday become loyal customers,
in other words there is a positive correlation between customer satisfaction

scores and customer buying behavior. If a customer rates the car very high in
satisfying his or her needs, the car manufacturer should expect more referrals
and this is reflected in the analysis that 73% customers say that they will refer
their car to their friends even if they move to other segment or other brand.


Q4. Will you buy your new car in the

• Same segment , same manufacturer

• Same segment, different manufacturer
• Upper segment, same manufacturer
• Upper segment, different manufacturer




The analysis shows that most people when moving to upper segment will prefer a

different manufacturer. And the next striking finding is that the customers will
prefer both same and different manufacturers in the B segment cars and there is
not much difference in the C segment also. This behavior is complex to 6
understand as this are the customers who have given whopping response for
recommending their car to their friends. It’s the reason why brand perception is
so difficult to understand.
15 7

10 82

age group




I surveyed around 100 people who belonged to various age groups. The survey
of 4 age groups was done. The four age groups were:
 Less than 21 years
 21 -35 years
 36-54 years
 More than 55 years

monthly family





I surveyed around 200 people who belonged to various monthly family income
groups. The survey of 4 income groups was done. The four income groups were:
 Less than 50000
 50000 - 1,00,000
 1,00,001 – 2,00,000
 More than 2,00,001

Above graphs exhibits the income bracket of the sample size, as evident the
majority of the sample is in the income bracket of < 50,000 a month income.
Though none of the bracket is highly skewed, this enables the study to be wide
and not dependent on a set income class, which was a fortunately desirable
result of simple random sampling.

Cross Tabulation

1. Motive to buy the car*segment car B and C

Bar Chart

20 seg m ent C a r B

E s t ilo

W agon R

S w if t
15 S a n tro

G e tz

I n d ic a V 2

10 E s te e m

B a le n o

A ccent

V e rn a
I n d ig o M a r in e

I n d ig o

O p tra





















r io




t it

respondant's objective buying a car brand

According to the result, I found that choice of car depends upon these following
So the choice of car is not driven only by intensive factors such as brand
perception but is hugely influenced by extensive factors such as price, service,
and models available, financing options etc. also the choice of the car is largely
influenced by the manufacture image. This is why Maruti is perceived as a value
for money car and Getz emerges out as a winner in the B segment for this
criteria. As Getz is from the house of Hyundai known for its technology and great
design is far better perceived as a preferred car than other cars. But a word of
caution here, this perception may or may not result in a converted sale.

2. Recommend the car to your friend*ranking of Brand and company

Bar Chart

respondants' ranking of
brand and company
Very Low
Very High



yes no
Would you recommend your car to your friends


The graph shows that people who rank their car high or very high on the brand
image are the people who recommend their car to their friend. This is something
the car companies should look for as these people may not be the brand loyal but
are definitely the people who help a company to reinforce the brand image
propagated by the company.

3. ranking of Brand and Image*Segment B and C car

Bar Chart

10 segment Car B and

Wagon R
8 Swift
Indica V2
6 Aveo

4 Verna
Indigo Marine

Very Low Low Neutral High Very High
respondants' ranking of brand and company


This graph shows that how brand image is useful in making the choice of a car
especially in the B and C segment. So, Santro is the car whose brand image is
on the top and it’s the most preferred car.




To conclude, the results show that the companies are playing on the peripheral
cues to maintain their Total Relationship Management and connect to the
customers both present and potential. The companies are operating in a highly
aggressive and competitive global market place and this climate has led to the
emphasis on quality in all aspects. TQM focuses on integration and coordination
as well as the continuous improvement of all activities and processes. Total
Relationship Management (TRM) is a very recent marketing strategy and
philosophy. It focuses on and is concerned with all integrated internal and
external activities within and between the organizations. These two terms are
integrated by the manufacturers by building good quality products and building
good relationship with dealers and enhancing service levels.

However, when studied from the point of view of a customer there seems to be
no major difference among the car brands in a segment as far as performance is
concerned. The brand perception is dependant mostly on the peripheral cues
depending upon the nature and quality of the service provided along with the
pricing, maintenance, availability of spare parts and related issues. So, a
question arises here that is this the end of road for the branding of cars? Has the
commoditization of cars has started and its time that manufacturers must read
the writing on the wall? It seems so! It seems as an undercurrent sentiment is
flowing and the perception of the customers is changing according to it. So this
might be the reason that despite Verna faring so high on the performance
parameters still lags on the account of converted sales.

The study shows that brand perception is something which starts building up
before a car is purchased and goes on with its use and is reflected in the
recommendations the customer makes to his acquaintances for the same car.
Also, its seen that the customer might not be using the car still he holds the
perceptions about it. Brand personality of a car is enforced by the sellers in the
mindsets of the customers and the customers react to it by forming their
perceptions about the car and this reflects in the overall brand image of the car.
So brand image and brand personality complement each other and the brand
perception aids the building of brand image.

Dealers, as per the study findings, play a very important role in building up
the brand perception of the cars. Since dealers are the connecting link between
the customers and the manufacturers thus becoming the most important link in
joining the company to its customers as he is the person who will sell the product,
will deliver it and will keep on providing the after sales services to the customers
as and when required.

So, it becomes necessary automatically to study dealer as a part of customers’

satisfaction journey with the product called car! Their proximity to the customers,
the service provided by them and the relationship maintained by them with the
customers helps the car companies to establish and reinstate the brand
personality communicated by them to the customers.

Finally the major point that emerges out of this detailed study is a caution for
the car companies. It says that there is no doubt that Indian car market may be
growing with a double digit figure still the car companies have a long way to
travel to convince their customers about the brand personality of their cars and
how it suits the prospective buyers. Simply because it simply is not a guarantee
that how so ever good the customer might be holding the brand perception and
how so ever good the brand image may be it is not a guarantee that it will convert
into sale. Cars just like clothes and accessories suit the style and persona of a
person and since all cars will become commodity someday the key to sell and

excel in the market will lie with a person who knows how to use the perceptions
of the customers to its use and sell the cars ‘coz ultimately only that car survives
which sells!

Scope of future study

As the report mentions there are clue in the market that the cars are on a path of
becoming commodities just like the fate awaits for any other consumer goods. So
what can be the role and scope of brands and their personality in the changes
scenario to establish the brand perception of any car in the mind set of a
customer present or potential can be one area of study?

On the close lines, another area of study can be the importance of

advertisements and promotion schemes on the brand image of any car brand?
Are the brands which advertise more have a positively high brand perception or
it’s the sales promotion schemes which create the ripples in the mindset of the





Sites Visited -

Books consulted -

Building Strong Brands- David A Aaker


For Customers:

Q1. Why you bought your present car? Please rank from the highest order of

1. Increase in disposable income

2. Better safety at roads
3. Family needs
4. Increase in family size
5. Suits your lifestyle and personality

Q2. You decided to buy a car brand because of (rate best 3 factors from 1 to 3 in
order of your preference)

1. Affordable price
2. Technical superiority over competition
3. Comfort
4. Manufacturer’s image
5. Value for money
6. Safety
7. After sale services

Product Satisfaction Level

Q3. Please rate your existing car in terms of understated Interior Design features
on a scale of 1 to 5 where

1 Highly Dissatisfied
2 Dissatisfied
3 Neutral
4 Satisfied
5 Highly Satisfied

Interior Type 1 2 3 4 5
Seats design
Leg Room
Dash Board
Interior Colour
Music System
Adjustable Front seat Headrest

Q4. Please rate your existing car in terms of understated Safety features on a
scale of 1 to 5

Safety Parameters 1 2 3 4 5
Crossbar under Dashboard
Air Bags
Anti Lock Breaking System
Aerodynamic Shape
Intensity of front lights

Q5. Please rate your existing car in terms of following parameters

Parameter 1 2 3 4 5
Fuel Consumption
Mileage ( Km/ltr)
Pick Up
Stability at higher speed
Top speed

Dealer Service Satisfaction Level

Q1. Please rate your Dealer on the understated parameters on the scale of 1 to 5

1 Highly Satisfied
2 Satisfied
3 Neutral
4 Dissatisfied
5 Highly Dissatisfied

1 2 3 4 5
Distance ( Proximity)
Advertisements (Promotions)
Technical Facilities
Cost of Service
Availability of Spares
Information Provided
Service Time
Car Handling ( Delivery & service)
Assured Customer Transactions
Ambience of Service Center
Finance ( Credit) Schemes

Q2. How do you rate the brand image of your car?

1 2 3 4 5
Very Low Very High

Q3. Will you recommend your car to your friends?

• Yes
• No

Q4. If yes, will you buy your new car in the
• Same segment , same manufacturer
• Same segment, different manufacturer
• Upper segment, same manufacturer
• Upper segment, different manufacturer

Age group:
 <21 21-35
 36-55 >55

What is your monthly Family income?

Less than 50000
Rs 50,000 –Rs 1, 00,000
Rs 1, 00,001– Rs 2, 00,000
More than Rs 2, 00,001

Number of car’s owned:

Present Car (s) owned:


Phone NO: