Analyzing the Intention to Purchase Proton Automobiles: Preliminary Findings

By Eze, Uchenna Cyril; Yee, Kwan Pay et al. | Contemporary Management Research, December 2012 | Go to article overview

Analyzing the Intention to Purchase Proton Automobiles: Preliminary Findings


Eze, Uchenna Cyril, Yee, Kwan Pay, Wamala, Fenella, Contemporary Management Research


ABSTRACT

The automobile industry in Malaysia is growing, and the local car manufacturers are investing heavily in research and development to enable products that are more functional. This is in the bid to compete with the growing popularity of foreign cars in Malaysia. This industry is expected to grow steadily in the near future due to the high demand for premium products, and as the working population and families in Malaysia become more affluent. The main objective of this research, therefore, is to examine the influence of key factors including country of origin, advertising, brand image, product knowledge, product quality, and price on consumers' purchase intention for Proton vehicles in Malaysia. We used a survey questionnaire to collect 988 valid responses from participants selected from four cities using convenient sampling method. Data collected were analyzed using Pearson correlation and multiple linear regression. The findings reveal that all the hypotheses were supported except for brand image and product quality. Finally, we outlined specific research and practice contributions based on the findings, and highlighted areas for future research.

Keywords: Product Quality, Image, Knowledge, Advertising, Consumers' Purchase Decision, Automobile, Malaysia

INTRODUCTION

An automobile, simply is described as a wheeled motor vehicle used for transporting, which also carries its own engine. The word automobile originates from the ancient Greek word auotos meaning "self" and the Latin word mobilis meaning "movable." The countries known for making cars include Brazil, Britain, Canada, China, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Thailand, United States and Malaysia. In the past, while automobiles were perceived as luxuries, they are a necessity for many people today (Olsen and Cabadas, 2002; Beecroft, 2009).

In Malaysia, Proton was established in 1983 under the direction of the former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohammad (Banting, 2006; Sundaram, 1993). Consumers' purchase intentions for automobiles is of a great importance to Proton car manufacturer to understand consumers' different tastes and preferences. In addition, everyone has different uses for cars. Vehicles are purchased for home use, for transporting heavy materials, for racing, for luxury, for rental businesses and for easy personal transportation. The automobile industry in the world is growing, and it is important to examine the factors that influence consumers' purchase intention for automobiles with emphasis on Proton vehicles. Although there has been some work done on the automobile industry in Malaysia, it has been limited and it has not focused on the consumer purchase intentions. Findings from this study could provide more insight into consumers' purchase intentions and on the specific factors that may not have been considered, yet are critical to purchase intentions among consumers.

LITERATURE REVIEW

Consumers' purchase intentions: Dodds et al. (1991) describe consumers' purchase intentions as the possibility of a consumer's willingness to purchase a specific product (Hou, Du, and Li, 2008; Zhu, 2004). When a consumer intends to purchase a product, they take specific interest in that product. What is it that drives an individual to take interest in a particular product to purchase, particularly Proton automobiles? Based on the review of related literature on purchase intentions and consumers behavior, country image, product knowledge, price, product quality, brand name and advertising, were identified (Blackwell, Miniard, and Engel, 2001). Consequently, the following hypotheses were developed based on the review (Quek and Eze, 2010; Lee, Eze, and Ndubisi, 2011; Hou, Du, and Li, 2008; Lin and Zhen, 2005; Dickson and Sawyer, 1990; Brown and Stayman, 1992; Eze, Yap, and Lee, 2010; Long and Chun, 2006):

H1: Country of origin will positively affect consumers' purchase intentions for Proton automobiles.

H2: Product knowledge will have a positive influence on consumers' purchase intentions for Proton automobiles. …

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