A STUDY OF CUSTOMER PERCEPTIONS AND EVALUATIONS OF

 CENTENNIAL CAR MODEL IN SAUDI ARABIA

 

 

Prepare by

Dr. Al-Hassan Abdul-Muhmin

 

To be conducted by:

 

Students and Instructor of MKT 345 (Marketing Research) course

Department of Management and Marketing

King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals

Dhahran, Saudi Arabia

 

1.  INTRODUCTION

2.   RESEARCH OBJECTIVES

3.   RESEARCH DESIGN

4.   DATA COLLECTION

5.   DATA ANALYSIS

6.   PRESENTATION OF RESULTS AND RECOMMENDATIONS

7.   EXECUTION TIME SCHEDULE

8.      BENEFITS OF THE PROJECT

9.      COST


1. INTRODUCTION  (Back to Top)

As part of the requirements for completing the Marketing Research course offered by the Department of Management and Marketing at King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals (KFUPM), students are often required to conduct research on a marketing-related topic of interest. Upon recommendation from the Business Development Center of the College of Industrial Management at KFUPM, this semester the Marketing Research class has decided to use Centennial, an up-scale car model recently introduced by the Hyundai Motor Company of South Korea into the Saudi market. This car is marketed under an individual brand name strategy similar to the one used by Toyota for Lexus and Nissan for Infiniti.

The study will examine how the car is currently perceived in the Saudi market, and will provide information that will be useful to the Al-Majdouie group (authorized dealers for the car in Saudi Arabia) in their efforts to better penetrate the market.

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2. RESEARCH OBJECTIVES

The research will be designed to achieve the following objectives.

1.    To examine the level of consumer awareness of Centennial in Saudi Arabia.

2.     To identify the factors that influence consumers’ preferences for different brands of luxury cars

3.     To identify the reference car models against which Centennial is perceived as competing.

4.      To determine consumers' perceptions of Centennial compared to these other car models. This will help to determine Centennial's main direct competitors.

5.    To examine consumers' quality perceptions of the Hyundai brand name.

6.      To identify what advantages and challenges Centennial's association with the Hyundai brand name will have for the market penetration efforts of Centennial. A relevant issue here is whether existing Saudi attitudes toward the Hyundai name are likely to be extended to Centennial.

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3. RESEARCH DESIGN

To achieve the above objectives, a survey will be conducted among owners and potential buyers of up-scale luxury cars in the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia using a structured self-administered questionnaire.

Prior to the main survey, exploratory research will be conducted to identify the factors that influence customers’ preferences for different brands and models of luxury cars in the Kingdom as well as the reference models against which Centennial is likely to be competing. This will be achieved through focus group interviews and depth interviews with selected customers as well as with resource personnel (e.g. salespeople) in car dealerships that offer luxury models. Results fro this investigation will be used to design the questionnaire which will then be tested in a small-scale pilot study before final implementation in the main survey.

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4. DATA COLLECTION

Students of the Marketing Research course at King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals will distribute the questionnaires. Each student will be responsible for collecting information from a sample of respondents large enough to enable him to write a separate individual report on his findings in order to fulfill the course requirements. At the end of the course, the course instructor will pool together the responses obtained by all students in the course, analyze the pooled data, and prepare a separate report for Al-Majdouie.

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5. DATA ANALYSIS

Each student will code and enter his data into a computer for electronic processing using the SPSS (Statistical Package for the Social Sciences) software. Specific analysis techniques to be employed will be dictated by requirements of the research objectives formulated for the study.

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6. PRESENTATION OF RESULTS AND RECOMMENDATIONS

Findings from the study, conclusions drawn, and related recommendations will be communicated to Al-Majdouie in a written report. An oral presentation could also be arranged if this would be of interest to Al-Majdouie. This will provide the opportunity for management of Al-Majdouie to seek clarification of issues contained in the written report.  

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7. EXECUTION TIME SCHEDULE

         Table 1 shows a schedule of the time requirements for executing the research contained in this proposal.

 

TABLE 1

EXECUTION TIMETABLE FOR PROPOSED STUDY

 

 

March

April

May

June

Week #:

1

2

3

4

1

2

3

4

1

2

3

4

1

2

RESEARCH ACTIVITY

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

EXPLORATORY STUDY

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1. Focus groups

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2. Depth interviews

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SURVEY

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1. Questionnaire design

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2. Data collection (by students)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3. Coding and data entry (by students)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4. Data analysis (by students)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5. Student reports

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

6. Pooled data analysis and written company report

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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8. BENEFITS OF THE PROJECT

        We envisage that Al-Majdouie will derive significant benefits from this project. First, the research objectives have been formulated taking into account the practical marketing issues involved with a new product launch like the type represented by Centennial - issues related to customer awareness, market segments to target, product perceptions compared to competitors, and factors important to customers when they choose among alternative brands. We believe that information collected from the project will be valuable to Al-Majdouie in helping the company to better define its direct competitors and its target market, and also to identify aspects of its marketing strategy that need to be improved to make the product a success in the market. Second, implementation of the project itself will contribute to creating awareness of the product among Saudi consumers. When the idea of the project was first brought up in the Marketing Research class, almost no one knew about Cenetennial. Now all the 55 students taking the course know about the car, and they have definitely also talked to their friends about it. Furthermore, each of them will be distributing questionnaires to at 20 people resulting in more than one thousand people becoming aware of the existence of the car just by virtue of completing the questionnaires.

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9. COST

        We hope that Al-Majdouie will contribute to the research effort by meeting expenses involved in the data collection, and also providing a prize for the best student report and a honorarium for the instructor for preparing an overall report and presentation to Al-Majdouie.

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