Al Ghandi Auto Group holds a leading position in the UAE automotive market. In existence for more than 50 years, the company has established itself as a reliable brand that provides the highest-quality service, the best customer care, and the best overall value for money spent. The company’s array of products and services addresses every need a conventional motorist may have, ranging from selling and buying cars to repairs and maintenance. It also offers various parts and consumables, supporting the products of over 20 major car manufacturers. The following business plan outlines the opportunity to establish a dominant presence in the emerging market for hybrid and electric automobiles. The points covered in this proposal include a market plan analysis involving the 4Ps and SWOT frameworks as well as an analysis of the existing market situation and current market strategy.
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Al Ghandi Auto Group is one of the largest automotive dealers operating inside and outside of the UAE. Established more than 50 years ago, the company evolved from a conglomeration of family-run auto services, auto dealers, and parts suppliers into a multinational auto giant that supports over 20 manufacturers in various countries within the GCC, Middle East, and Africa (“Welcome”). The company is comprised of over 1,000 employees. It provides various services associated with the auto market, including (“Welcome”):
- Automobile sales and purchases;
- Automobile repair and maintenance services;
- Parts and accessories;
- Consumables (oil, gasoline, etc.);
- Car rental and leasing (Yaseen services);
As it stands, Al Ghandi Auto Group services are geared toward classic combustion engine models that are popular in the UAE for various cultural, performance, and economic reasons. The company specializes in various types of vehicles, including mass-produced and luxury models, and is considered one of the leaders in the UAE auto market in terms of the variety of services offered, quality, and customer appreciation. In 2014, Al Ghandi Auto Group was awarded the Dubai Quality Appreciation Reward. In 2016, the company was granted the title “The Best Auto Dealer in Dubai.” Despite the oil crisis of 2012 and several sharp decreases in car sales suffered throughout 2014–2015, Al Ghandi Auto Group remains one of the leading auto dealers in the UAE (“Welcome”).
New Product Description
The following marketing plan has been developed for a series of products and services to be promoted, provided, and distributed under the label Al Ghandi Auto Group. The plan involves expanding the company’s existing products and services to include hybrid and electric cars. The following list details the services to be added (Baldwin):
- Hybrid and electric car sales. Several models will be added to the existing available vehicle list. The models chosen should cover all economic segments, from the affordable to luxury sectors;
- Repair and maintenance of hybrid and electric cars. Car owners should be provided with all repair and maintenance services as are already offered for classic combustion engine models;
- Providing parts and accessories specific to hybrid and electric cars (engine parts, starters, accumulators, etc.); and
- Consumables for the aforementioned types of cars.
In summary, suggested enhancements include providing a series of products and services to accommodate electric and hybrid car owners within the UAE, concentrating the initial effort on large cities such as Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Sharjah, and several others. Potential expansions of the newly offered service package may include incorporating hybrid and electric cars into the company’s car rental and leasing program. The chosen name for the service expansion is “Al Ghandi EcoService,” which underscores the ecological emphasis of the product.
Al Ghandi EcoService Marketing Plan
Vision and Mission of the Brand
EcoService’s vision is to create a world where fast and efficient travel can coexist with the environment to the fullest possible extent. Fossil fuel on Earth is limited, and a shift from standard combustion engines to hybrid and electrical engines is bound to happen in the foreseeable future. Contributing to the goal of making the planet greener, EcoService is one of many steps humanity can take to ensure a long and prosperous existence on the planet and prevent potential ecological catastrophe.
EcoService’s mission is to provide dedicated and personalized eco-friendly services for hybrid and electric car owners in the UAE, promoting quality, accountability, customer-focused service, and social responsibility as part of our corporate agenda. We aim to become the leaders in eco-friendly car sales and services and set a standard for the industry with our services, pioneering innovation as well as impeccable and all-encompassing service.
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Core Competencies of the Brand
The core competencies of the EcoService brand are to be analyzed using the 4Ps marketing model, in which the four Ps stand for product, price, promotion, and place (Londhe 335). This popular system is widely used in the analysis and presentation of potential market plans due to its efficiency and simplicity of use and understanding.
- Product. EcoService, as the name suggests, is a series of services and goods that will be made available to hybrid and electric car owners, covering a wide area of needs that range from purchasing automobiles to repairs, maintenance, consumables, and parts. Al Ghandi Auto Group seeks to provide the users of these types of cars with the same array of services currently available to the owners of automobiles with combustion engines.
- Price. According to Al Ghandi Auto Group’s mission statement, the company prides itself on providing impeccable customer service and the best value for the consumer’s money. In line with the company’s mission, the prices for EcoService would need to be competitive not only with those that potential competitors would charge but also with the prices offered by the company to regular automobile owners. The end customer must not face additional expenses because of owning an ecologically friendly automobile.
- Promotion. The services illustrated in this marketing plan are in line with many government ecological initiatives and efforts made by suppliers and producers to adhere to the new “Go Green” ideology that promises to dominate UAE markets over the next 25 years (Baldwin). Al Ghandi EcoService can be promoted using official government channels, mass media, social media, and other promotional outlets. The company can endorse various ecological organizations in the process of providing instructions and information to ensure EcoService adheres to existing and advanced ecological standards. In summary, green motives, affordable prices, and a high level of availability are to be the promotional punch lines for Al Ghandi Auto Group.
- Place. Due to the high reliance on hybrid and electric automobiles on existing infrastructure, EcoService will implement its pilot run in large UAE centers such as Dubai, Abu Dhabi, and Sharjah. Historically, these three centers are the first to adopt innovation in the effort to operate in line with the newest trends. They are also quick to respond to various government initiatives. According to Gulf News, the newest environmental initiatives launched at the end of 2017 encourage motorists to abandon petroleum cars in favor of hybrid and electric automobiles (Baldwin). Until the initiative catches on, the highest customer bases will be concentrated in these three cities.
Current Situation Analysis
As it stands, the current auto market situation in the UAE seems to favor classic combustion engine cars. The UAE has one of the largest luxury car segments in the Middle East, next to Saudi Arabia. Due to various economic and government policies that encourage business practices, the UAE is a large sales and transportation hub; many automobiles assembled in China are brought into Europe, the Americas, and other parts of the world through the UAE’s ports and free-trade zones. The existing market situation can be analyzed using the 4Ps marketing framework.
- Product. Al Ghandi Auto Group provides a wide selection of automobiles and related services to customers both inside and outside the UAE. These services include repairs and maintenance as well as selling consumables, parts, and merchandise (“Welcome”).
- Price. Al Ghandi Auto Group offers a wide selection of prices to its customers to cater to different customers. In general, its prices are in line with the average prices available at the auto market. However, the company strives to provide improved quality and customer service for the same amount of money rather than reducing prices at the expense of quality (“Welcome”).
- Promotion. The company enjoys a leading position in the market, enabling it to promote its brand and causing it to become highly visible to existing as well as potential customers. To further advance its brand name, Al Ghandi Auto Group engages in all sorts of promotional, educational, and charity activities. One of the latest examples of promotional activity has been Al Ghandi Auto Group’s participation in Dubai’s Yearly Fitness Challenge, involving over 650 employees (“Welcome”).
- Place. Al Ghandi Auto Group possesses a wide and all-encompassing network of auto dealers and auto service centers in all major and local centers in the UAE and abroad. This enables the company to ensure its presence in virtually any market in the country, and this helps to boost sales, attracting new customers while keeping the existing ones. Competitors find themselves hard-pressed to offer the same availability as Al Ghandi Auto Group is known to offer.
Evaluation and Interpretation of the Situation
Al Ghandi Auto Group’s current marketing plan is efficient and well-adapted to the existing situation in the conservative UAE auto market, where conventional combustion engine models prevail in both the budget and luxury sectors. Fuel prices in the UAE remain some of the cheapest in the world despite the gradual increase in prices reflecting the recent fuel crises that occurred in 2012 and 2014. These tendencies have caused the existing service chain of the company to focus on petroleum-fueled cars; the company does not provide dedicated services to hybrid and electric car owners. However, the situation may change in the next few years due to a combination of internal and external factors that have the potential to influence the UAE auto market.
Some of the external factors include the fact that major automobile manufacturers are developing functional hybrid and electric car models. According to The National, Ford Motors has announced the release of four models of hybrid cars in the UAE during the next 3–4 years (Graves). This correlates with various initiatives by the local government that seek to make green options more attractive to car owners. The country thus is moving to involve itself in developing an appropriate infrastructure to support electric and hybrid cars. Tesla, among the corporations most famous for developing hybrid and electric cars, is increasing its sales in the UAE. In short, the popularity of green automobiles in the UAE is expected to grow in the next several years, presenting an opportunity for Al Ghandi Auto Group and the proposed product, the EcoService initiative. Should the company be among the first to incorporate services that support hybrid and electric cars, it has the potential of claiming a large percentage of the resulting market share.
No market plan presentation would be complete without a SWOT analysis. This is an efficient marketing analysis framework that lends itself to a concise and easy-to-visualize comparison of the strengths and weaknesses of the project (Anton 21). At the same time, it outlines the opportunities and threats to the company involved in undertaking such a project (Anton 21).
As illustrated in Figure 1, the main strength of EcoService is that it adheres to the Blue Ocean strategy: It is aimed at creating a service for a market that nobody in the UAE has yet claimed (Butler 170). Seizing this opportunity would enable Al Ghandi Auto Group to establish itself as a leader not only in the conventional segment of the auto market but in the green sector, as well. The main weakness of the strategy lies in the fact that the UAE has historically been a conventional auto hub due to cheap fuel and the availability of various famous brands. Should the sum of internal and external factors fail to spark a green revolution in the automotive sector, EcoService would prove a largely pointless venture.
The company’s direct competitors such as Jaguar, Land Rover, and CIE Automotive represent additional threats. Should Al Ghandi Auto Group hesitate to introduce EcoService, the company may lose its advantage and forfeit a potential new market to the competition. Launching EcoService too early, however, raises the potential of suffering financial losses as the customer base would not be ready to adopt hybrid and electric automobiles en masse.
Summary and Conclusions
Al Ghandi Auto Group is a large company that holds a dominant position in the UAE auto market. This position is currently supported by a widespread infrastructure, its reputation and brand name established over 50 years ago, and a resolute marketing plan that focuses on quality and customer service. However, the UAE market is expected to experience a significant shift toward hybrid and electric automobiles, stimulated by various government initiatives as well as promotional decisions by several famous automobile manufacturers. EcoService is a product that addresses the interests of the newly emerging market. Although associated with certain risks, EcoService has the potential of ensuring Al Ghandi Auto Group’s dominance in the UAE market for the following 10–15 years as it would allow an already large and powerful company to seize a sizeable portion of the market from the early days of its implementation.
Anton, Roman. “An Integrated Strategy Framework (ISF) for Combining Porter’s 5-Forces, Diamond, PESTEL, and SWOT Analysis.” Open Science, vol. 4, no. 1, 2016, pp. 21-26.
Baldwin, Derek. “UAE Paves the Way for Zero-Carbon Electric Cars.” Gulf News. 2017, Web.
Butler, Colin. “Planning with Blue Ocean Strategy in the United Arab Emirates.” Strategic Change, vol. 17, no. 5-6, 2008, pp. 169-178.
Graves, LeAnne. “Ford to Release Four Hybrid Cars in the Middle East.” The National. 2017, Web.
Londhe, Brian. “Marketing Mix for Next Generation Marketing.” Procedia Economics and Finance, vol. 11, 2014, 335-340.
“Welcome to the Al Ghandi Auto Group.” Al Ghandi, Web.