A consumer model of the European car market

Date of publication: June 15, 1983


B1 Cars is a major producer of British cars. During the 1970’s it lost the dominance of the British car market, and required rescue by government ownership. It has now been restructured and expects the 1980’s to be a period of regrowth. The Marketing Research department, started to monitor changes in motoring attitudes and behaviour after the 1973/4 oil crisis. Several attempts were made to use advanced analysis techniques as an aid to forward planning. Eventually, cluster analysis segmentation were found to be the most effective means of consolidating large amounts of survey data and of communicating the results to company management. Initially, the segmentations employed attitude statements to define customer needs. These findings led to a re-evaluation of existing sectorization of the car market, and provided a more realistic basis for defining product and customer targets. Later ’implicit' segmentations used image data to group customers according to their perceptions of different cars. A multi-market study of one model and its competitors also showed the potential value of identifying international buyer segments. Overall, this research project, lasting over six years, has contributed significantly to improving the qualitative elements of forward planning, encouraging creative adaptation to a changing environment.

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