Cars are one of the most expensive and involved purchases that consumers make. They have an extended decision-making process, use multiple information sources, and include multiple evaluation criteria before making a final decision. The decisions that car buyers make impact not only their immediate budgets, but also their long-term budgets with respect to repairs and vehicle dependability (post-purchase behavior).
One source often used by consumers is the J.D. Power Vehicle Dependability Study. According to the most recent study, car buyers avoid models with poor reputations for dependability. The good news is that buyers do not have to spend a lot of money in order to get a dependable vehicle.
The study examines problems experienced over the past 12 months by original owners of 3-year cars. Eight categories are examined, including exterior, engine/transmission, audio/communication/entertainment/navigation, interior, features/controls/displays, the driving experience, heating/ventilation/air condition, and seats. The survey examined responses from 35,186 original owners of 2014 auto models.
Check out the report and see where your vehicle placed.
Group Activities and Discussion Questions:
- Review key aspects of developing a product positioning map, including determining the axis labels for positioning.
- Poll students: What are factors that influence consumer purchases of cars?
- Divide students into teams.
- Have each team select two criteria and draw a positioning map for automobiles using those criteria (Ex: price and reliability).
- Show the J.D. Power report and video:
- Based on the J.D. Power ranking, how could different auto manufacturers use the rankings to reposition their products?
Source: J.D. Power, Manufacturing Business Technology