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Title: An investigation into consumer behaviour towards the purchase of new luxury cars in two culturally distinct countries : the UK and Thailand
Author: Anurit, Jakrapan
ISNI:       0000 0004 2713 2070
Awarding Body: Middlesex University
Current Institution: Middlesex University
Date of Award: 2002
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The thesis aimed to answer two questions. (1) What distinguishes a luxury car? It has been shown that this is a complex issue involving a multifaceted - subjective and objective factors approach. Hence, there is a need to develop (a) a clarification and definition of luxury cars, and (b) a luxury car price concept/range, to identify customers' profile, and to explore influences on consumer purchase decisions. (2) How do cultural differences between the UK and Thailand explain the difference in purchasing patterns of BMW and Mercedes and provide insights for brand marketing of the two luxury car marques? The research design was based upon a review and synthesis of the academie literature and car data, which helped identify (1) theoretical concepts and hypotheses appropriate for this study, and which also developed (2) a working definition of luxury cars for the selection of samples and research methodology for this study. Methods of qualitative data collection included observation, focus groups, and face-to-face interviews, which was content analysed. The quantitative data collection was by questionnaire survey in the UK and Thailand, which, after elementary statistical analysis, was factor, and discriminant analysed. However, the UK data did not lend ifself to principal component or discriminant analysis, since the questionnaire was modified to facilitate co-operation of British respondents. For the UK, simple statistical analysis and a test of signiflcance for différences in percentage of respondents selecting the key attributes of their own marque were conducted. The findings yielded a comparative study of similarities and differences between UK and Thai customer perceptions of BMW and Mercedes, and insights into brand marketing of their cars in the two countries. The outcomes yielded include: • a detailed profile of BMW and Mercedes buyers in the UK and Thailand; • the technical and non-technical attributes of BMW and Mercedes cars as well as dealer and customer perceptions of the two marques in the UK and Thailand; • commonalities between marques and differences in buyer attitude and behaviour in the UK and Thailand; • a consumer decision model that determines the choice of a new BMW or Mercedes car in Thailand, and criteria that determine the choice of a new BMW or Mercedes car in the UK; • identification of significant cultural determinants of new luxury car purchasing patterns in the UK and Thailand applicable to countries with similar cultural characteristics and socio-economic structures; • marketing implications on customer acquisition and retention as well as upward brand stretching of both marques in both countries. These findings enable this thesis to conclude that buyer perceptions of new BMW and Mercedes cars in the two countries are different. This thesis proposes a strategy of upward BMW and Mercedes brand stretching for both customer acquisition and retention by both marques and provides guidelines for local and global marketing of BMW and Mercedes luxury cars. The limitations of this thesis are outlined in the conclusion and also avenues for future research were provided.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available