The new vehicle market is becoming increasingly competitive. New niche markets are being established and as a result manufacturers have to offer a wider variety of products to cater for these new segments. How can market research respond to the need for customer insights for these niche segments with smaller budgets and very specific product requirements? How can those responsible for bringing such products to market ensure they get to know their specific target customers and develop a product to meet these customer requirements? Traditional large-scale product development techniques are expensive and need longer lead times - so what else could the product development team do? How can niche customers be brought to life with a niche budget? The paper looks at the results of a research programme developed by NOP Automotive and Ford Motor Company.