The current trends of most Singapore car buyers lean towards compact cars. With many car manufacturers launching their own range such as the Toyota Yaris, Honda Jazz and Suzuki Swift to meet the changing trend from large bulky cars to compact cars which can whizz around Singapore roads. The Swift provides value for money in terms of price and power. Being a compact car with lots of power it allows the driver ease in manoeuvrability and parking in land scarce Singapore. With the parking lots in most estates getting smaller making it difficult for owners of big cars to get out after parking, the compact car makes the most logical choice for singles and small families. The current Swift has been given a new facelift from its predecessor, it has new front and rear bumpers and a rear seat that when folded provides a flat storage area. The current model is available in 1.2L, 1.3L, 1.5L and 1.6L (sport) version with a choice of a 5 speed manual or a 4 speed automatic transmission.
With a wide range of engine capacity it caters to the many needs of car owners from fuel efficiency to power and joy in the drive.
2. Consumer decision-making process steps
Step 1: Need Recognition
Buying a car is usually a planned purchase. The interviewees identify a significant difference for their current state of affairs or some desired state ("...saw it on the road and car magazines and also did a bit of research on the internet...") and (" I spoke to people and owners of Swift, all positive reviews. Basically all I wanted was a car that is powerful and good handling.").
Step 2: Search for information
Before purchasing the car, both interviewees did their research through either the internet or the dealers ("I went through the internet and compare the specs of the car, erm... and the car show room..."). They know exactly what they are looking for and search further for information and through 'word-of-mouth' ("I was looking at a 1.6liter car... I test drive a Honda Fit before. Basically my mind was pretty set on buying a Swift as they really had very good reviews. I trusted mostly on reviews and owner's recommendation."). According to Huang P.(2009), states that there are significant differences in consumers' perceived ability to evaluate product quality before purchase between search and experience goods in traditional retail environments but these differences are blurred in online environments. Both interviewees used the same source for comparison and research of the product. Huang P. (2009) also state that the internet with the presence of product reviews from other consumers and multimedia that enable consumers to interact with products before purchase has a greater effect on consumer search and purchase behaviour for experience goods. Interviewees relied greatly on online product reviews before final decision on their purchases.
Step 3: Pre-purchase evaluation of alternatives
There are two main factors consumers purchase their car, price related factor and product attributes. Product attributes are one of the main factors when purchasing a car. The perception of the quality of the car comes from the brand of the car. ("...because of the performance, the quality of a Japanese car and also low maintenance in long run."). When both interviewees search for product information, they relate it to their own specify needs as it was a repeat purchase for both ("...Looking for power.... not looking for underpowered car..").
Price related factors are described through the categories of product affordability ("Price is a problem because I compared several model before buying. The first car was Toyota Rush it was about $60,000 as well. But comparatively the power is different and in terms of maintenance it's cheaper to maintain a swift. And when it come to the monthly instalment, it's definitely cheaper to buy a swift...").
Interviewees were asked what their dream car would be and both of them replied saying that the price of their dream car is not within the budget. Price is definitely a huge factor in buying a car. Goldsmith