An examination into The University of Chichester’s students’ attitudes, perceptions and beliefs towards environmentally friendly (green) car purchase in the UK 2016

Student, A. (2016) An examination into The University of Chichester’s students’ attitudes, perceptions and beliefs towards environmentally friendly (green) car purchase in the UK 2016. Undergraduate thesis, University of Chichester.

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In recent years in the UK there has been a steady growth in green vehicle purchase, which has led to greater competition between rival car manufacturers to attract customers to their brand. This research project focused on the third year student demographic, based on their attitudes, beliefs and assumptions towards green vehicle purchase. The overall aim for the project was to make justified recommendations to car manufacturers on the most engaging marketing themes and channels that would appeal to students, the next generation of car buyers, when looking at green vehicle purchase. The research used a mixed methods approach (a questionnaire and focus group) to collect the primary data for the project. These data were then analysed in Excel and SPSS and presented as graphs. Secondary market research (featured in the literature review) on priorities when purchasing a car found reliability, price and running costs were highly rated for the UK demographic as a whole. These surveys showed little or no regard for the latest environmental concerns on levels of toxic emissions produced by vehicles which may influence consumer preferences.
The present research has addressed the gaps in these previous studies and has explored students’ views with regard to environmental responsibility towards new car purchase. This research found students had a high level of individual responsibility towards environmental protection (recycled, reduced waste, limited energy consumption) but categorised themselves as having medium to low consideration for the environment when purchasing in general and had a medium to high adverse impact on the environment. With regard to car buying decisions their present buyer behaviour is dictated by financial limitations. When asked about low emissions and harm to the environment when considering car purchase most gave this a low priority. However, most students said they were not aware of lethal NOx emissions produced by vehicles particularly diesels. After reading the statement of the effects of NOx pollution most were put off, particularly females, from buying diesels in the future and would consider petrol, hybrid and electric powertrains.
From a green vehicle marketing perspective, TV, social media and physical events were all seen as highly engaging and would most appeal to the student demographic. It was also recognised by students in the focus group that secondary communication channels were equally as engaging such as word of mouth, as students felt they could trust opinions, experiences and recommendations more from those that they can trust or have a bond with. However, for word of mouth to be effective, other engaging primary marketing channels are needed for the individual to gain and share the knowledge about the product.
From these findings the researcher recommends that incentives and financial savings for green vehicles should be made clearer in marketing, with the use of effective marketing channels as identified above. However, the researcher recognised that students’ financial positions are likely to improve once they have graduated. The trend within the student demographic for higher green vehicle sales is unlikely to happen in the near future, unless prices fall. The findings showed marketing emphasis on the benefits to human health and the environment of green car purchase is likely to increase future sales.

Item Type: Thesis (Undergraduate)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Divisions: Departments > Business School
Undergraduate Dissertations
Depositing User: Gail Graffham
Date Deposited: 17 Jan 2017 11:03
Last Modified: 17 Jan 2017 11:03

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