Posted: November 27th, 2013
As we are all familiar to the gasoline-powered cars and electric cars, a hybrid is a cross-brid of the two sets of cars (Oliver & Seung, 2010, p.97). The car has a combination of component of both the electronic cars and the gasoline-powered cars. The vehicle distinctly has the two most powerful sources to move the vehicle. In this topic, we compare consumers purchasing behavior in different cultures, in order to establish if culture plays a role to the purchase of a hybrid car. Apart from culture, the purchase of hybrid cars can be affected by the social factor that includes ones income.
Hybrid cars’ car purchase intentions: across cultural analysis
Apart from expense, air pollution is a factor that affects the consumption of gas. The invention of the hybrid car helps us provide solution to this problem of air pollution (David & Richard, 2006, p.30). In France and California, hybrid cars have replaced gasoline vehicles to help prevent urban air pollution. This shows that some countries have embraced the idea of the hybrid car to this effect. Marketers and analysts want to get information in which they would use to update consumers on the hybrid cars. Research has changed over time; this makes it unreliable and less useful to consumers.
In a survey of 1083 US drivers and 783 Koreans, it is recorded that there are some social factors and cultures that shapes the intentions of the buyers to purchase a hybrid car (Anonymous, 2006, p.13). In the findings, it showed that some of the determining factors include the self-image analogy and susceptibility to information to the environment played an important factor to the purchase intentions of the drivers. It is seen that things that are more expensive reflect on the image of the consumer and require prior research before purchase (O’cass & Lim, 2002, p.45). The association to social value of the consumer also was a key concern to the Korean consumers unlike the US consumers. It is therefore advisable for marketers of the hybrid car in both countries to advise or communicate the social value of the hybrid cars. They should help the consumer understand the positive reflection of possession that reflects on the consumers’ image and focus the information on consumers that are in need of knowledge on the green products. However, this can only applied to the Korean Drivers as it may be a turn off on US drivers. Green issue and social responsibility is a great concern to most consumers.
In another case study, Toyota has tried to sell the hybrid vehicle in China; unfortunately, the Chinese do not appreciate the hybrid car (Jackson, 2006, p.8). Only few shoppers are interested in the car. This shows that the hybrid car is not popular in the developing countries compared to the developed countries. In America, the Mitsubishi Company has conducted a survey with the use of questionnaires, to find about hybrid cars in the country. The results to this analysis made the company sell out the electric cars. This shows that the company had reliable sources for it to choose the electric vehicle over the hybrid car.
A qualitative and quantitative analysis has shown that the automobile is highly appreciated by the consumers because it is relevant to the values of the consumer in regards to the consumption of fuel (Povey, 2006, p.95). The Qualitative and quantitative analysis illustrate that the automobile is used in a riskier social setting compared to the hybrid cars. The purchasing of a car involves financial investment and therefore the automobile is a bargain compared to the hybrid car. The automobile is a better choice for most consumers because it relates to the social identity and status of the consumer. In the social context, it is very important to make wise decision on the type of car one purchases. In the cross-cultural perspective, the decisions made are more significant and are geared towards the preservation of the environment by purchasing of environmental friendly commodities. Many researchers have contributed to the importance of environment friendly attitude and behavior by consumers. However, these studies have been limited to the behavior of the people (Juettner, 2009, p.84).
In conclusion, culture is seen as an element of importance in the usage of Hybrid cars. Researchers have shown cross-cultural analysis that contributes to purchase intentions of these cars and increases the knowledge on both the social and cultural factors. These factors are very important in the decision-making process in regards to the hybrid cars. It is therefore necessary to replicate the results.
Anonymous, 2006. Toyota Promises More Hybrids. Business & the Environment with ISO 14000 Updates, 19 (8), p10-15.
Calef, D.and Goble, D. The allure of technology: How France and California promoted electric and hybrid vehicles to reduce urban air pollution. Policy Sciences, Vol. 40, p. 1-34
David, S., and Richard, B. 2006., Methodology or “methodolatry”? An evaluation of focus groups and depth interviews. Qualitative Market Research: An International Journal, 9 (1), p26-37.
Jackson, K., 2006.Mitsubishi to sell electric car in the U.S. (cover story). Automotive News. 81 (6224), p1-16.
Juettner, B., 2009. Hybrid cars. Chicago, Ill. Norwood House Press
McIntosh, M. J., 2009. Determinants of environmentally conscious consumer behaviors: Measuring the value consumer environmentalism and predicting behavioral intention to purchase environmentally friendly products. Available through: ScholarWorks@UMass Amherst <http://scholarworks.umass.edu/dissertations/AAI3379991>
Oliver, J, D. & Seung, H, L., 2010. Hybrid car purchase intentions: a cross-cultural analysis. Journal of Consumer Marketing, Vol. 27 pp. 96-103
O’cass, A., & Lim, K., 2002. The Influence of Brand Associations on Brand Preference and Purchase Intention. Journal of International Consumer Marketing. 14, p. 2-3.
Povey, K. D., 2006. Hybrid cars. Farmington Hills, MI: KidHaven Press.
Wilson, N. M., Thomson, G., & Keall, M., 2008. Vehicle emissions and consumer information in car advertisements. Environmental Health: A Global Access Science Source. 7.
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