Social Media and Focus-group Based Purchase-Intention Determinants of Automobile Industry In India
Keywords:Antecedents, Approximation, Automobile purchase Intention (API), Focus Group Interviews, Indian Customers.
The current research is of exploratory nature that finds out and analyzes antecedents of automobile purchase intention (API) of Indian customers in recent times. The pandemic of Covid has recently calm down and markets are working hard towards prosperity. Many customers have deferred their purchase plans and many are looking for more price-efficient alternatives. However, there are others who are looking for safe and personal mobility to maintain social distancing. In this context, it is worthwhile to study the influencers of API of customers. Based on price value of the vehicle a customer already owns, components of his next choice of vehicle is determined here by extracting and analyzing social media review comments. Subsequently these are compared with responses of prospective buyers which were obtained by conducting focus group interviews where participants belong to various price ranges expressed in millions or M in short. The price ranges are obtained through cluster analysis of responses found from social media. For focus group interviews, we reached out to respondents belonging to three major cities of India - Chennai, Kolkata and Mumbai. Responses of the participants have been analyzed both qualitatively and quantitatively. Qualitative analysis helped us to extract names of the antecedents where quantitative analysis estimates their overall impact on API. Function approximation is applied to quantify the antecedents separately for focus group and social media. Values of antecedents have been mathematically expressed as function of purchase price of the vehicle a customer already owns. This information is extremely useful for vehicle manufacturers as well as salespersons. Using the technique proposed here, a vehicle manufacturer is able to figure out expectations of existing customers in terms of vehicle functionalities whereas sales persons are able to identify automobile product features they should accentuate while demonstrating a vehicle to a potential customer