When car drivers want to replace or buy new tyres, several factors come into consideration. Malaysian drivers considers several aspects before settling for one tyre dealer. Brand image, dealer reputation according to friends, advertisement, price, quality and durability, and eco-friendliness of the products. In the contemporary society, consumers are sensitive to the environmental effects of various products, and the attributes of particular products as unfriendly to the environments paint a negative brand image which can lead to consumers shifting to alternative products. The hypothesis of the study postulate that different customers buy a particular tyre brand depending on various factors such as cost, tyre quality, availability and their overall perception of the brand. The research occurs in Malaysias states with a target of 153 respondents to give their opinions on the factors that factors shape their purchasing behavior as passenger vehicle tyre customers.
Malaysian tyre industry is currently enjoying the local support evident from the TechSci (2014) research which shows that the tyre market in Malaysia will grow by 9.15% between 2015 and 2019. One of the aspects that drive the Malaysian tyre market is the positive customer acceptance of the locally manufactured tyres. Other drivers of the tyre market include favourable policies, increasing sizes of the vehicle fleet, and expansion in the automobiles sales volumes. As a nation which is among the leading economies in the Southeast Asia, Malaysias passengers care per capita is highest in the region because the nations have approximately 50 automobiles. The local passenger cars include Peruda and Proton while global brands include Land Rovers, BMW, Nissan, Honda, and Toyota. The last aspect that reflects the growing demand and positive behavior pattern is the increasing establishment of global and domestic vehicle manufacturers to cater for the increasing number of consumers in the country. For instance, TechSci (2014) indicates that Malaysian vehicle industry sold 0.66 million passenger car units in 2013. Within that period, Malaysian government offered tax rebates which are responsible for the currently increasing production and sales of hybrid vehicles
The sales volumes of vehicles are directly proportional to the tyre sales volume. According to Shende (2014, p. 5), the passenger vehicle tyre sector is the dominant player in Malaysian tyre market as variables such as volumes share to show that the segment leads commercial and two-wheeler vehicle tyre divisions by a significant percentage. Research shows that the future of passenger car tyre industry has the positive characteristic of increasing market. It consequently has the implication that passenger car tyres in future will dominate the entire tyre industry (Shende, 2014, p. 7). At the present information age, unlike the old days, the purchasing pattern among tyre customer is as result of the consumers preferences and desires to enhance their vehicle through buying tyres to adapt the environmental changes and incorporate new features (Daniels, 2012).
Purchasing tyres also occur when consumers want to increase cars grip, comfort or adopt the trending version. However, a million dollar issue that affects the passenger vehicle customers is whether to continue their loyalty to the present tyre brand or switch to another dealer. Such an issue introduces the concept of consumer purchasing behavior. The fact that Malaysian tyre market is evolving in the yearly production of different brands sets a complex phenomenon among the tyre users with the dilemma being whether to stick to existing brands or try the new tyre models. Malaysia as one of the nations with leading production of rubber will always offer consumers a wide range of products which will change according to the available technology. According to Raj, et al. (2013, p. 51), consumers are increasingly shifting to new tyre products because of the popular belief that the present day brands have increased consideration of the environmental factors hence the suitability to the current Malaysian terrain and roads. Menon and Raj (2012, p. 149) on the other hand suggests that a fleet of consumer purchase a particular tyre brand depending on a series of psychological factors ranging from previous experience and encounter with retailers and manufacturers.
According to Monga and Chaudhary (2012, p. 49), a good number of tyre retailers and manufacturers are taking advantage of the changing consumption pattern by making use of the current consumer practices and attitudes to excite the increasing young population driving and owning passenger vehicles. Passenger vehicles performance is reliant on the tyres quality and the extent to which they will work to reduce the cost of repair and frequent replacement. According to IEA (2010), the ability of tyre sellers and manufacturers to garner useful brand loyalty is dependent on diverting the shift in consumers behavior to benefit them. It is thus evident that knowing the market trend and changing consumer purchasing pattern and behavior is essential in the present-day vehicle tyre markets for competitiveness and remaining relevant. Recent research shows that many tyre consumers are knowledgeable about the qualities of ideal vehicle tyres, and tyre disposal and recycling strategies Miller (2014).
Research Objectives The research has a goal of exploring the purchasing behavior pattern among the users of passenger vehicle tyres in Malaysia.
The attainment of the primary purpose depends on the studys secondary objectives such as:
Exploration of the factors that influence the consumption of tyres in Malaysia
Description of the variables that cause shifts in consumers purchasing patterns and the factors those elements that enhance tyre customer satisfaction.
Examining the relationship between tyre quality, brand image, satisfaction, advertisement and the purchase of passenger car tyres in Malaysia
Literature ReviewPassenger Car Tyres quality and replacement rate before purchasingAt present technological and information age, almost every driver know that the aspect that keeps them rolling along with their vehicles is purchasing quality vehicles and maintaining its components. Tyres remain to be the most essentials elements of the cars because of the popular belief that quality of the tyres differentiates two similar vehicles. According to Shende (2014, p. 7), every driver would wish to replace the car tyres after a specified period to enhance vehicles speed and grip. Replacement of tyres remains a significant practice among many drivers because at present, kicking or just looking the tyres do not offer a good revelation of the extent of damage or worn-out nature. The consumer behavior in purchasing tyres in most countries is a factor of durability, grip, standard rating, designs, rolling resistance and age.
First, tire durability and grip are two variables that consumer considers before purchasing tyres. The variation of the tyres rubber mix and tread pattern is a concession of durability, grip and other requirements. According to Raj, et al., (2013, p.58), the passenger vehicle tyres have on the new, used soft grade tyres because of their better grip. However, the author notes the increasing number of passenger car consumers who prefer the harder tyre model because of their experience that soft tyre models lost a lot of rubber and wore out rapidly. Many drivers cite the case of racing vehicles which use soft tyres, and upon the riding, they remain glued to the track.
Durability and Rolling Resistance
Therefore, as a result of the negative attribute of a soft tyre, there has been a growing fleet of consumer shifting to the hard tyre and the manufacturers are also changing the manufacturing to win the shifting buying pattern. As a result, many consumers would like to have a road, braking and cornering test to ascertain the grip of the tyres. Durability, on the other hand, is difficult to measure but Malaysia in the recent past have been adopting the measuring mechanism of the US rating of tread wear. The score of the tread offers a useful idea of the durability of the tyre if the vehicle is operating in similar environmental condition. According to Mullineaux (2014), a significant number of passenger car tyre consumers consider the tyres rolling resistance before making their purchase choices.
By definition, the minimum amount of energy that can move a vehicle is rolling resistance, the smaller the rolling resistance of a tyre, the higher its quality and the more preference it receives from consumers. Many users prefer tyres with lower resistance because vehicles that use such tyres uses less fuel (Monga & Chaudhary, 2012, p. 50). Sadly, Malaysian tyre manufacturers do not have a single and consistent method of testing rolling resistance neither do they have one common strategy to relate fuel consumption. Therefore, it explains why it is hard to satisfy and maintain consumers. A majority of tyre manufacturers attribute their brands with up to 10% fuel saving as a result of low resistance design with the condition that the drivers adhere to individual driving settings such as tarmac roads and terrains which are not rough.
Regarding the concept of resistance, it is evident from previous research that an increasing number of tyre cons...
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