Automotive Marketing Research for Marketing Purposes

The automotive industry is highly competitive and ever-changing. Nothing is forever. General Motors was the largest automotive company in the world for many years before being overtaken by Toyota. Toyota may well be overtaken by Volkswagen before the end of the current decade. Who may be targeting VW after that; Hyundai?

All auto companies conduct extensive marketing research. Many use similar approaches while other put their own unique spin on things. Some research is sound and other research is not so sound. Part of the problem is that auto companies employ very few (if any) professional researchers in their research departments. Typical automotive research department employees are business professionals who cycle through different jobs at their particular company, and the research department is just a few-year stop along the way. They learn from their predecessors and pick up some knowledge from their research vendors, but aspects of their expertise are weak at best. Sampling theory is a complex issue, as is multivariate analysis and fractional factorial design (conjoint analysis). These are not topics easily mastered through on-the-job training, yet they are vitally important to getting the most out of a research project.

The end result is that sometimes billion-dollar decisions are being made based on information of dubious character. Everybody can write a questionnaire and get people to fill it out. Almost nobody does a very good job of designing a valid and reliable research process designed to address the research objectives. Poorly designed research procedures can still come up with the correct answer…sometimes. The problem is that there is almost no way of knowing whether this is one of those times or not.

The principals of Clarity Research have more than 25 years of automotive marketing research experience, and well over a decade of motorcycle research experience as well. We are research experts; well-grounded in sampling theory, questionnaire design, multivariate analysis and a wide range of modes of data collection. Clarity Research has been finding the answers for automotive marketing research questions since its inception. We live, eat and breathe the automotive industry. Let us use our methodological expertise to design research protocols to address your toughest questions. Learn more about us at (

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