Consumer Buying Behavior and Key Brand Preference Drivers in Entry Level Hatchback Segment in South Delhi District
Hatchback is an automobile body type with a two box configuration with a rear door or section that swings up, providing a wide opening into a cargo area, which is fused with the passenger area if more cargo space is required, by collapsing the backrest of the rear passenger seats. Hatchbacks have come to occupy a distinctive and dominant position in the Indian passenger vehicle market with most of the major national and foreign manufacturers giving this segment a distinct primacy in their overall marketing strategy, striving to secure a bigger and bigger share of the total market pie. Not many studies have been conducted in India to understand the consumer behavior and tendencies towards brand choices when it comes to the purchase of entry level hatchbacks, particularly in respect of South Delhi market. Hatchbacks have gained ample share of passenger car sales in India. This passenger vehicle category which constitutes about 47 percent of the overall turnover of the sector, has become a rage in the Indian market especially for the middle class families. Indian middle class buyers are focused on value for money and are highly cost conscious. Therefore, many passenger car manufacturers are concentrating on budget hatchbacks. Especially the entry level hatchbacks represent a good value for money proposition with great fuel efficiency and luggage space due to combined passenger and boot space, which can be fused together by collapsing the back seats of the passenger compartment. This study represents an attempt at identification of the brand equity attributes and combination of specific elements of the marketing mix having a distinct bearing on the buying decision of passenger cars. The study also attempts to find out and understand various brand equity variables exercising an impact on the buying decisions of hatchbacks. This study also attempts to understand and find out the various marketing mix attributes assigned significant weightage by the buyers at the time of pre-purchase decision making for hatchback cars. Finally, this study is intended to understand the managerial decision making ramifications based on the study‟s major findings.