Automotive International Marketing in Turkey

Abstract

The article reveals the author’s experiences as a channel through which the grounded theory approach can be utilised in presenting qualitative research. The detailed description of the methods used in collecting, interpretation and analysis of data are fully given. The study is about international marketing and focuses on appropriate implementation of communication mix within the automobile industry. The area of study was in Turkey, where various stakeholders were involved in interviews. The information obtained assisted in exploring the various marketing communication mix utilised by most automotive companies in the Turkish market.

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The main purpose of the article is to present the readers with detailed practical descriptions of various market situations on the ground. The paper reveals the nature of thinking and practical processes involved when generating theory from data collected majorly from conducting in-depth interviews. The article starts by introducing the topic in relation to the industry and country of study, then, the definition of the problem statement, research questions and objectives of the study. This is followed by the detailed literature review in the second section and then research methodology, data collection and analysis, discussion of the results and finally the conclusion and recommendations based on the findings.

Introduction

The motor vehicle industry is rapidly growing. The demand for new car models is on the rise, thus forcing major car manufactures to strategise their businesses in order to enhance their market share and global presence. Concurrently, there are emerging markets for major car manufactures. It is evident that such manufacturers strive to enhance the sales of their automobiles, augment revenues, and realise remarkable profitability (Norcliffe 2006, p. 56). Vehicles are demanded internationally despite the noticeable competition; thus, manufactures must enhance their production rates, cost-effectiveness, supply chain, and customer satisfaction to meet the changing market demands. This will augment their competitiveness and increase its market share in emerging markets.

The automotive sector in Turkey began far back in the 1950s with few companies such as Ford, Renault and Fiat dominating the domestic market. The market has continued to grow owing to several factors such as the large size of the domestic market and expansion of international trade. There has been a significant move made in foreign investment within the sector. Automotive firms owned through the partnership between Turkish and foreign companies include Ford Otosan, Oyak-Renault, and Tofas-Fiat, while the main producer of motor vehicles Toyota is fully under the ownership of Japanese. The level of car ownership within the country has tremendously increased over the recent decades with the current level being at 100 cars per 1,000 people. Domestic demand is expected to stabilise in the near future leading to efficient planning and higher margins (Cavusgil and Nevin, 1981).

Automobile companies are coming to realise the increasing demands for cost-effective vehicles in the realms of fuel consumption, performance, and other environmental concerns. Nonetheless, there are special marketing strategies that chief motor vehicle manufacturers must establish, ratify, and embrace in order to capture and retain clients in emerging markets. They range from the production of cost-effective cars to intensive promotions. Contextually, providing customers with variety is equally important. It is important to agree that the motor vehicle industry is quite competitive. This is shown by the emergence of new manufactures, distributors, and the variety of products from which clients can choose from. It is crucial to consider such facts when developing appropriate business strategies in order to remain competitive and relevant in such markets. Additionally, major companies like General Motors, Nissan, Peugeot, Toyota, Mitsubishi, and others have formulated appropriate business strategies in order to enhance their competitiveness, market visibility, and customer services (Appiah-Adu 1998, p. 118).

International marketing generally involves the marketing of goods and services beyond the boundaries of the organisation’s home country. There is a need for companies to learn the various avenues they should utilise to enter foreign markets hence increase the level of their global competitiveness (World Investment Report, 2006). The international marketplace always presents a quite different environment compared to domestic markets. The two environments vary in terms of market sizes, buyer behaviour, as well as marketing practices. These should be carefully evaluated by international marketers based on the market segments within the targeted areas. International operations always have effects on a company’s operations and management hence forms part of crucial decisions made by firms. Decisions to operate within the international markets depends on several factors which include; deliberate policy decision, reaction to specific business opportunities, economic trends, political stability as well as competitive reasons amongst others (Bartlett and Ghoshal, 1989).

In the process of tracking the nature of development within global corporations, the records have clearly revealed repeated, a sequential pattern of expansion. The initial step involves understanding the nature of the environment within the international market. Then there is a consideration based on the appropriate proportion of foreign to total sales, which involves the decisions on the number of countries to do business and the countries to enter. Then decisions on the particular markets to enter based on the rate of return on investment against the risk involved. Companies venturing into international market undergo a process referred to as an internationalisation process. There is also the act of deciding on the effects of products, promotion, price and distribution within individual foreign markets. In most instances, regions are treated as single markets and, at the same time, the various automobile models standardised by region with promotions helping in the projection of the uniform image. Such orientation assists in enhancing coordination by discounting national differences and is well revealed by the French automobile industry, which showed evolution process involved in international marketing strategy (Caves, 1971, pp. 1-27).

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The act of the extending internationally endues company’s management with the responsibility of setting geographic emphasis. This may range from developed nations within Europe, North America amongst others and developing nations in Africa, Asia and Latin America. The task of the management team is to ensure that strategic decisions are made capable of directing business development operations in alignment with the company’s objectives and at the same time congruent with activities within the target region. The decisions should include both macro-environmental and micro-environmental issues. Macro-environmental issues include economic, socio-cultural and political factors while micro-environmental issues are market attractiveness, skills, resources, product adaptation as well as a competitive advantage. Firms with highly-rated technology products are known to have concentrated activities within developed regions of the world. However, doing business in developed countries is far much preferred over developing nations since the business modalities within the business environment are easily predictable, and, at the same time, security on investment is assured.

Emerging markets are characterised by geographic region and level of economic development, which presents the main point that makes them differ from developed economies. The higher degree of risks is prevalent in markets within developing regions such as Latin America, Africa, the Middle East and Asia; this is attributed to less stable economic climates within the regions. Any firm operating within these areas is inclined to be subject to a high level of uncertainty and fluctuations. Developing countries presents a number of barriers which include huge foreign indebtedness, instability within governments, shortcomings within the foreign exchange, government entry requirements, high tariffs, corruption, piracy, communication adaptation and bureaucracy.

Frequent changes within the political environment in developing countries present a major setback to normal business operational activities and may result in drastic reductions in growth. Making decisions on global marketing strategy will, at some point, compel firms to make specific choices on individual countries they intend to compete. One of the components of developing a global marketing strategy is making decisions on where to compete and selection of appropriate territories. In such emerging markets, Turkey stands as one of the key ones for the motor companies. This dissertation will be based on the case study of Turkey. In order to collect viable, reliable, justifiable, and valid data and marketing managers of different major car manufacturers in Turkey will be taken as the main source of information. Revealing common patterns and differences between these companies will be taken as the main aim.

The Turkish automotive sector has been highly recognised to be international; statistics in 2008 showed that over 80% of Turkish vehicle production was sold within the global market. Within the same year, only around 70% of the vehicle sales within Turkey were from other countries. The custom Union with the European Union has made it possible for other Multinationals to integrate their Turkish plants within their global production plans. Statistics show that the current Turkish market has 21 automotive manufacturers, 15 vehicle manufacturers and 6 tractor producers. Main producers include Ford Otosan (US), Oyak-Renault (France; passenger cars); Tofas (Fiat and Koc) and Toyota (Japan), these are considered as the main producers and accounts for over 80% of all vehicles manufactured in Turkey. The market comprises of vehicles used for different purposes; these include; passenger cars, commercial vehicles, as well as tractors. Turkey is recognised as one of the top exporters of vehicles to Europe. In the year 2008, the sector recorded averagely US$ 25 billion, which indicated an increase of 10%. The top exporting companies include Toyota, Ford, Tofas, and Oyak-Renault, amongst others (Andrews, 1971).

Business operation within the international market requires additional investment in terms of management time and capital. Venturing into new territories also present both new business opportunity and risk. This is since business ventures in new countries takes time to develop, and profits may show after a fairly long time, the firms should first go through careful analysis of the investment climate within the country and ultimately determine the level of market attractiveness. The lead market concept can as well be applied in the process of identifying markets for special emphasis. There is a need to understand competitors within various market segments since corporate success results from focusing on the provision of value and quality to consumers instead of competition.

The attractiveness of an industry is determined by five forces which determine the level of attractiveness of an industry, these include; the bargaining power of buyers and suppliers, threat of new entrants, presence of substitute products, presence of rivalry firms within the industry. Competitive advantage sustenance could be achieved through the provision of superior value using differential advantage. Means of competitive advantage include product differentiation or marketing mix and work best when combined with the competitive scope of activities. Majorly it is considered that the general sources of competitive advantage are skills as well as resources owned by the firm and which can be used in the process of developing quality products and discovery of new markets. Global marketing strategies involve the application of a set of strategic marketing principles within the various world market segments. The difficulty arises in the determination of profitable marketing operation elements.

Research methodology, which was utilised in this research, incorporated a systematic approach structured to solve the concerned research problem systematically. All the research methods and techniques used in this study, as well as the logic behind them, were demonstrated for clarity. Besides reliable/valid secondary data, marketing managers of different major car manufacturers in Turkey were the main source of information for the prospected dissertation, as mentioned earlier.

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Problem Definition

Due to challenges fronted by emerging markets in the automobile industry, it is important to investigate further on the matter. This considers how different automobile organisations are handling their businesses and marketing strategies in emerging markets. Firstly, it is hypothetical that emerging markets (in the automobile industry) such as Turkey have fronted various challenges to major car manufacturing companies. Hence, they require special attention in order to meet the demands of such markets. If this is true, then, there must be viable marketing strategies assumed by these companies in order to remain competitive in such markets (Khanna, 2010). It is crucial to recognise such provisions in the marketing contexts so as to remain relevant and uphold competitiveness. The questions provided are of some concern when considered critically and can be subjected to investigations as mandated by this research proposal (McDonald 1992, p. 54).

Various reasons have been employed in defining the current automotive market situation within Turkey. Competition within Turkey’s market has intensified amongst industry firms, and at the same time, structural changes have been eminent in the economy, especially after major economic crises in 2001. The crises led to the development of complexity within the Turkish automotive industry making the firms to adjust their capabilities for the purposes of counteracting the changes. The various changes within the automotive market environment have thus shaped the nature of competition and, at the same time, stimulated realignment within the export firms (Banga, 2006).

Turkey has experienced growth in the number of players within the Turkish automotive industry, and this is attributable to the liberalisation of the trade policies, regional agreements and the liberalisation of foreign investment regulations made it possible for new entrants to the emerging market. However, due to the increased number of players within the saturated market, firms are pushed towards exploring new strategies and sales opportunities in both the international and local markets. The expansion of the Turkish economy made firms to experience high competition owing to change within the business environment. Before, the market operated under high tariffs hence protecting the automotive firms from foreign competition. Records reveal that foreign ownership within the Turkish automotive firms is much higher compared to other industries.

Additionally, enacting proper business and marketing strategies in such contexts is considerable and proper. It is evident that investigating such matters can actually help in knowing the exact marketing strategies assumed by major motor vehicle companies in the emerging markets (Bandyopadhyay 2001, p. 13). Additionally, it is crucial to elaborate on such matters with due precision and other mattering concerns. Numerous organisations in the automobile manufacturing industry have managed to grasp considerable market share and vitality in their businesses by attaining remarkable customer satisfaction. This is quite crucial when considered critically in the business context. Precisely, it is debatable and researchable whether the major car manufacturing companies use special marketing strategies in order to conquer emerging markets with their products (Chilisa 2012, p. 2).

Aims and objectives

Accordingly, the intended research was to unveil the marketing strategies that major car manufacturers in emerging markets assume in order to remain competitive in such markets. This objective was narrowed down to reveal trends, similarities and differences between corporate strategies in order to enhance some precisions within the entire study. The objective was drafted with consideration of the most available data. The research used the readily available data for the purposes of emerging with viable research findings. As indicated before, the automobile industry is quite competitive hence require appropriate business strategies that would allow its players to attain competitiveness. Since there are numerous players in this industry, every company must strategise appropriately in order to outdo the rest and remain aggressive in a similar industry (Carson & Hine 2007, p. 23). This is a considerable fact, as indicated before.

Preferably, it is important to enact viable production, marketing, and distribution strategies in order to conquer emerging markets with the required novelty and appropriateness. This objective incorporates Turkey as one of the emerging markets in the automobile industry. Illuminating this objective with respect to Turkey forms a credible foundation from which the argued facts lie. There is accessible and credible information discussing emerging markets with regard to the automobile industry. As indicated earlier, the intended research unveiled the marketing strategies that major car manufacturers in emerging markets use in order to enhance their market share and remain competitive in such markets.

Frequently, automobile manufacturers have to venture into the new markets so as to enhance their market divides, sales, and profitability, as indicated before. Emerging markets contain such opportunities hence the need to establish and ratify viable marketing strategies in such markets. This research endeavours to unveil this phenomenon while using examples from relevant countries as well. It is important to recognise the strategies that such companies use to storm the prospected markets in future (Marshall 2006, p. 1). Such strategies might vary from one company to the next depending on the country involved, the business objective of the concerned company, and the available competition in the region.

The objective of this research proposal is to unveil the patterns of marketing strategies in the realms of their success and appropriateness. The concerned pattern considered the differences and similarities of the business strategies assumed by automobile companies. The whole business prospects lie on this perspective. It is crucial to consider various aspects of these business prospects in order to remain relevant and aggressive in the market. There are similarities noticeable amidst the business strategies used by the involved companies (Dunn & Halsall, 2009). Such tactics are meant to enhance the market visibility enjoyed by the involved companies. The differences that exist in such context relates to the objectives of each and every company. Evidently, every car manufacturer has established unique marketing mechanisms in order to grasp a considerable number of clients in a given region. Precisely, the research aims at unveiling the differences and similarities in the business strategies used by different automobile manufacturers in the emerging market. Turkey is included in this context since it forms one of the emerging markets considered by major car manufacturers (Calof, 1994).

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It is crucial to know whether car manufactures have considerable stakes in the emerging markets and what they can do to enhance their presence, market share, and profitability in such markets. It is important to consider such aspects in the realms of business. Since globalisation has boosted the prosperity of numerous businesses, adopting viable business strategies is important (Ferguson 2006, p. 351). This is applicable in the automobile industry where the business has been globalised both economically and in the distribution channels. Enacting viable marketing strategies will help considerably despite the witnessed competition in the industry. Actually, emerging with viable marketing options will establish and enhance the required competitive advantages and other relevant marketing and business provisions in the entire contexts.

It is from this perspective that the whole prospective arguments lounge.

Since the automobile market is challenging (fluctuates in response to fuel cost, technology, and performance), it is proper to convince customers with appropriate products that serve their varying demands with appropriateness. Each market segment demands a different kind of cars. The concerned company must consider these provisions in order to remain relevant in the entire marketing context. This relates to the similarities and differences that occur amidst the business strategies employed by the motor vehicle manufacturers in order to capture reasonable market share in the emerging markets (Semple 1992).

In order to meet this objective, the research applied appropriate and feasible research methodology ranging from research design to the presentation of the findings as indicated earlier. It is essential to enhance business prospects in various organisations in order to emerge with an appropriate conclusion with regard to marketing tactics. Since automobile manufacturers are competing for global market share and other viable competitive advantages, they have established both internal and external business practices that allow them to attain such goals. Emerging markets are tricky to handle hence demanding appropriate business perspective in order to remain relevant and competitive in the entire market (Noble 2005, p. 83). It is from this case that the entire business prospects lie with precisions.

Following the aspects of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), various organisations have assumed this provision to enhance their market appropriateness and global presence. This constitutes the mandates of this proposal, as mentioned earlier. Identifying the business strategies used by car companies in order to handle the emerging market is important when considered critically (Czinkota & Ronkainen 2007, p. 88). This objective proved critical to this research following its guidance to entire research methodology and other relevant research provisions. Additionally, the mentioned objective was found to be researchable through establishment and utilisation of critical research methodology. Marketing strategies are able to dictate the success of a given company in the emerging markets, as indicated before. With respect to this objective, it is crucial to consider the viability of such business strategies with respect to the market involved in the entire business contexts.

Central Research Question

What marketing strategies can globalised car manufacturers utilise to enhance presence, market share, and competitiveness in the emerging markets? This formed the central question that the concerned research tried to answer alongside credible findings at the end of the study. Contextually, the research questions assumed in this context relates to the mentioned marketing strategies applied by the major automobile manufacturers to enhance their market presence in the emerging markets with respect to Turkey. There is a critical business provision in this context due to the numerous influences created by varying market strategies. Evidently, the ability to apply considerable market prospects and marketing tactics can actually help in grasping and retaining potential customers in the automobile industry (Gillespie 2011, p. 34). Due to competition evident in the entire context, the research drafted viable research questions meant to trigger the extraction of remarkable marketing options.

In this context, the concerning question was considered as relating to the most accessible data with respect to the concerned research methodology. Precisely, the central research question was; what are the marketing strategies applied by major car manufacturers in the emerging markets? It is from such strategies that the whole business scenarios related to automobile dealers rely on. It is proper to consider various aspects of this concern before rendering everything inconsiderable in various contexts. Ability to manage the business prospects in such circumstances is considerable (Miller 1998, p. 2). Additionally, unveiling the similarities and differences assumed in such situations is important. Another important issue in this scenario relates to the demanded business prospects in the entire set-up. It is from this consideration that the entire business provisions lie as indicated earlier.

Upon execution of this proposed research, it was possible to unveil whether there are similarities and differences within the strategies assumed by various automobile manufacturers in the emerging markets (Neergaard 2007, p. 67). After the research had emerged with marketing tactics used by major car manufacturers in emerging markets, it was possible to discern the disparities noticeable in the entire context. This indicated the viability of this proposed research question. It acted as the driving force for prospected research. This proved helpful in solving various business prospects when considered critically. Ability to discern the differences and similarities assumed in this circumstance proved important and considerable.

It is the mandate of the concerned organisation to grasp the required business prospects so as to attain a remarkable market share and global presence in the realms of marketing, sales, and profitability. It is crucial to recognise such research questions following their ability to elicit the required responses to the concerned topic. Such questions help in redirecting the research objectives and help in executing a focused study on the concerned topic. This is quite interesting when scrutinised critically due to its ability to provide viable business prospects for the concerned automobile organisations (Majumdar 2001).

Literature Review

Comparing and contrasting the works done by various authors helped in the literature review during research execution. According to Özerdem (2009, p. 23), Neergaard (2007, p. 67), and Ferguson (2006, p. 351), emerging markets have presented lucrative business opportunities to the automobile industry and its players. This has forced major car manufactures to device novel methods that would augment its marketing strategies in such regions. Contrastingly, Doole & Lowe (2008, p. 65) indicate that emerging markets are unique and demand special marketing strategies in order to succeed market-wise. It will be vital to illuminate the kind of strategies that such organisations employ with respect to marketing (Özerdem 2009, p. 23). This is helpful in determining the fates of such firm in the emerging markets.

Leingpibul (2006, p. 97) identifies one of the marketing strategies employed by automobile firms to grasp the emerging markets. This incorporates improved marketing techniques employed conventionally and contextually by such firms. Relatively, Czabke (2008, p. 75) demonstrates that marketing aspects have improved in the recent past due to the emergence and embracement of technology among other market provisions. Other sources have equally demonstrated this provision. Numerous businesses have been forced to avoid conventional marketing strategies and venture into creative, novel, relevant, and cost-effective marketing models. Major car manufactures have equally embraced such marketing provisions in order to enhance their competitiveness and other marketing provisions in the concerned emerging markets.

Comparably, Sengupta & Chattopadhyay (2006, p. 95) indicate that some firms have employed the use of the internet to enhance their marketing endeavours and reach numerous customers at once (Rosa 2001, p. 445). It is possible to reach potential clients globally by using internet marketing strategies and other viable mass media provisions in various contexts. In contrast, Sprenkle (2005, p. 32) shows that there are other marketing options apart from the internet that can be employed locally and work tremendously.

In addition, Czinkota & Ronkainen (2007, p. 98) discern the contribution of technology with respect to international marketing. It is important to agree that the emergence of technological aspects in the production sectors, transactions, distribution, and marketing has allowed numerous organisations to expand their businesses. This is critical when considered in marketing and business realms. Every major car manufacturer has employed unique and distinctive marketing methods in order to outdo other players. This includes Toyota, Nissan, General Motors, Mitsubishi, BMW, and prominent car manufactures endeavouring to venture into the emerging markets with novelty, creativity, and competitiveness with regard to marketing (Colwell 2006, p. 68).

While comparing information from various journals and books reviewed, the major similarity in the entire context is that all tactics are meant to enhance the market share, global presence, sales, revenues, and profitability. Additionally, they are targeted to storm emerging markets with novelty and distinctiveness. This is meant to enhance competitive advantages assumed by such organisations (Leingpibul 2006, p. 97. Harris (2004, p. 97) study the marketing strategies employed by the concerned firms. The proposed research will unveil the entire provisions of novel marketing techniques.

According to Sarvary & Parker (1997, p. 24), another marketing tactic shown by numerous sources is the production of a diverse range of products (automobiles) that serve the varying interests of customers as indicated earlier. Contrastingly, these sources provide varying opinions in the marketing context. It is also important to enhance the variety of vehicles so that every customer can have a choice (Czabke 2008, p. 75). On the other hand, Weihrich (2010, p. 4) argues that since emerging markets present diverse customer tastes, major car manufacturers have strategised to provide a variety of vehicles that will handle the situation with the desired precision. This will enable them to enhance their market divide, global presence, sales, and profitability required. It is important to consider such marketing strategies due to their ability to lure numerous customers into buying the desired products.

It is crucial to consider the significance of diversity in the realms of products. This marketing strategy tries to provide customers with alternatives. Thus, customers will continue to satisfy their needs with regard to automobiles. Almost every automobile organisation produces several motor vehicle models for a different class of people and with different tastes (Doole & Lowe 2008, p. 6). This is a crucial provision in this context due to its viability and other considerable provisions. It is crucial to consider such viable market trends with precision. Additionally, managing to consider business provisions is important in the marketing context. There are varying concerns that relate to varieties in the motor vehicle context. Additionally, considering various business aspects has been critical to car manufacturing organisations (Weihrich 2010, p. 4). These provisions have allowed major motor vehicle manufactures to launch and embrace their businesses in the emerging markets. It is through this consideration that the entire business prospects with regard to automobile industry lie.

Comparably, Majumdar (2001, p. 2) and Khanna (2010, p. 45) argue that some manufactures have adopted the production of hybrid cars to meet the demands of the emerging markets’ customers with satisfaction. Such companies have strategised to capture niche markets, which had not been exploited by other car manufacturing organisations. This marketing strategy has enhanced the performance of most vehicles, cost-effectiveness, and elegance in various contexts. This factor makes a considerable business provision in the emerging markets. Since most of the emerging markets have average earners, producing cars that can meet their financial budgets is important. This relates to the factors of cost-effectiveness, viability, and other relevant business concerns in the entire context.

According to Kotler and Keller (2009), Public relations help a company in enriching marketing techniques, especially when they are used through internet search engines. The process enables increased sales owing to the fact majority of Turkish consumers apply massive use of internet technology. Integration of marketing communication mix proves vital to the organisation since it makes coordination of strategic transactions within the domestic market easier and effective. The application of public relations assists the firm in effective communication, making it possible their direct link to consumers hence giving right information about their various products.

Efficient use of public relations has the capability of providing product uniqueness within the market, making it possible for the company to attract consumers through their captivating information displays (Vernon, 1966). Increasing demand would, at times, call for the company’s temporal reduction of prices since this is capable of attracting attention. Market share can also be increased through the improvement of the supply chain. Resource appropriateness determines the nature of financial performance and could assist the company in gaining investors and maintaining strong partnerships. At the same time, the use of research and development assists the firm in financing innovative ideas as well as producing new inventions. Financial base largely determines the nature of activities the company indulges incapable of ploughing back higher profit margin. The company’s sustainability depends on the uniqueness of the products supplied capable of attracting sustained earnings (Kotler and Keller, 2009, p 30).

However, Ulaga and Chacour (2001) reinforced the use of media as one of the most powerful communication tools besides public relation. This is since it provides one of the unique ways of communication. This includes the use of First-Contact resolution, where the presence of employees and customers is regulated through the use of real-time. Such technologies reinforce communication since it enables easy detection of available clients through media. Consumers are, at times, frustrated, especially when faced with the problem of inability to reach appropriate correspondents with the right information at the appropriate time (Ulaga and Chacour, 2001). The value consumers attach to the automobiles determines the level of sales and, at the same time, provision of other related services. The nature of cooperation between the company and vendors within the supply chain enables easy extension of additional services. Creation of several search engines facilitates online sales of consumer-based goods and saves on time and costs (Lindgreen and Finn, 2005).

Furthermore, the production of cars that would serve customers with the demanded quality and viability is crucial, according to Clarke & Flaherty (2003). This is an evident phenomenon in various organisations, which strive to grasp remarkable market share. It is through this consideration that the concerned marketing strategy attains its novelty. Contrastingly, Koontz & Weihrich (1990) demonstrate that ability to produce quality cars with reduced fuel consumption, enhanced comfort, and augmented performance has helped various organisations to market their products with subsequent profitability. This is a considerable aspect in various circumstances. Viable vehicles are able to market themselves since they are appropriate to clients (Sprenkle 2005). Clients will obviously recommend them to other potential buyers. This has contributed to the mentioned business prospects. There is a prospective need (as advocated by various sources reviewed) to adopt a critical marketing strategy that is relevant to a given market. Evidently, a marketing strategy that works in a given area might be irrelevant in another.

Another marketing strategy evident in this context is the use of local mass media within the emerging markets. This is helpful in localising the marketing aspects to match the demands of the concerned market. It is crucial to vary the marketing methods from one region to the next in order to enhance the penetration of the concerned product in a given market. This matter has been relevant in the automobile context where major car manufacturers have employed the use of local mass media provisions in order to regionalise the marketing options (Batra 1999, p. 29). The ability to understand the demands of a given market is helpful in this context.

Using appropriate marketing methods will actually help when such factors remain relevant and considerable. It is through this provision that the entire business prospects can actually emerge. Major car manufacturers must consider various marketing provisions applicable to various countries. This necessitates the concerned companies also to manufacture vehicles that suit a given market. It is important to study the demands of the emerging market in order to produce a vehicle that meets such demands with exactness. It is from such arguments that the whole marketing provisions lie (Sengupta & Chattopadhyay 2006). Additionally, the need to have a wider market share and global visibility has influenced the application of other considerable marketing mechanisms meant to storm the emerging markets. Turkey is taken as relevant in this context.

Özerdem (2009, p. 23) and Harris 2004, p. 97) advocate for the erection of new factories in the emerging markets. Clarke & Flaherty (2003, p. 40) equally support this strategy. This is meant to enhance production, promote instant services, and saturate emerging markets with novel products. It is from this provision that the entire marketing strategies employed by such companies lie (Batra 1998). Major car manufactures have plans to expand their businesses to other regions in order to enhance distribution and alleviate the costs fronted by the circulation challenges. Emerging markets require an adequate and proficient supply of commodities within regions. This is an important provision in various contexts. There is a considerable need to cease various business opportunities fronted by the emerging markets (Clarke & Flaherty 2003). This is a critical prerequisite when considered critically. It is crucial to recognise the importance of efficient distribution mechanisms with regard to this concern. It enhances the market presence and global visibility, as indicated earlier. Such provisions are crucial in various contexts. They help in managing various business provisions.

From the past two decades, car manufacturing companies in Turkey have been affected by the economic crisis. A number of firms have been forced to close down while others cut their production capacity since the demand for their vehicles drops drastically. There is also fierce competition within the marketplace since the firm’s scramble for the few available consumers. Alongside the market crisis, the production costs rise, which ultimately makes the firms increase their prices to customers. This affects the competitive nature within the market environment. At the same time companies are forced to downsize the workforce, which at times poses a considerable challenge to management (Zehir and Sevi, 2004, pp, 346-47). Various measures are undertaken by most companies to react to these changes, such involves the adjustment of corporate behaviour, as consumers adapt their consumption rates. Some studies in the literature emphasise the general measures taken by companies amidst the economic crisis and also the importance of strategies in improving sales. However, there is a lack of thorough investigation with respect to changes in marketing strategies.

In the wake of an economic crisis, several changes are usually necessary in the general marketing strategies, particularly in the main elements of marketing mix which include; product, price, place and promotion. Firms are advised to always concentrate their resources in the markets which they are strong (Ang et al., 2000, p. 109). Venturing into foreign markets presents a good strategic option to the firms experiencing recessions at home (Rao et al., 1988), despite this strategy having no rapid accomplishments.

The best strategy a company can apply is a withdrawal of weak items from the market. The development of new channels should focus on the development of product characteristics that appeal to consumers, such as durability and functionality of the products. Extra resources need to be channelled towards research and development for the purposes of supporting new products (Williamson, 2001, p. 31). According to DeDee and Vorhies (1998, p. 57) the improvement in product quality and control on research and development, amounts to some good return on equity. Market crisis forces some significant change in the decisions companies make on prices of vehicles with the aim of increasing sales in the short-run (Shama, 1978, p. 50). According to Bennett (2005, p. 124), maintenance of price stability is insignificant towards the company’s performance. The various changes made in promotion strategies are also of great importance with the firm’s having a high level of advertising since they experience increased sales compared to others.

Demographically, the balance between men and women population in Turkey is almost even. The female population has been considered slightly higher owing to higher life expectancy. However, the rate of population growth is on the increasing trend with a steady rate of 1.25% annually. Notably, there is an increase in the number of young population between twenty-five and forty years. Owing to the increase in the young population, the country anticipates a rise in demand for commodities. This can be attributed to the young adult’s population willing to spend increasing the demand for luxury items as well as other products. The target population in such a business is the young adults and the middle-aged adults, which accounts for two-fifths of the Turkish national income. The trends for these two groups would positively affect the sale of automotive cars (Zajac et al., 2000).

The other trend being experienced by the Turkish market involves the growth of internet users. According to statistics, the number of internet users has grown tremendously between the years 2004 and 2009, making Turkey to be ranked fifteenth worldwide in the number of internet users. Ownership of personal computers and laptops are also on the increasing trend with the compound annual growth rate for the laptop market expected to be 20 in the year 2013.

The significance of brand management

A brand could be referred to as differentiating logos that are normally used to give identity and character to a product within the market environment. This is aimed at granting the separation of the product from all other competitors. In the automotive industry, they apply the use of signs and words presented alongside a unique shape and taste of the manufactured vehicle (Kotler and Keller, 2007). The knowledge of how the brand is perceived within the Turkish market is crucial since it helps in understanding the level of importance the Turkish give to marketing communication. Most of the enterprises in Turkey associates branding with high-quality production. However, the current perception of branding also incorporates intangible values which are part of marketing communication.

The use of brands increases the level of sales as well as customer loyalty and, at the same time, enables customers to look for their rights in case they feel dissatisfied. Availability of a strong brand within the market enables the firm to obtain premium prices and at the same time contributes towards granting licensing opportunities. Good implementation of brands makes it easier for consumers to affirm the reliability of particular products. The presence of information technology should help firms integrate their supply chain activities and hence reach consumers with a quality brand. The use of websites enhances the ability of automotive firms to communicate clearly the various distinctive brand personalities. However, such channel may at times not ensure the emotional connection between the product and customers (Kotler and Keller, 2007).

An international company preparing to venture into the Turkish market should clearly define its value proposition which is capable of building a customer base. The value proposition assists in identifying prospective customers within the Turkish automotive market. In its segments, the value of the vehicles seems most attractive. However, an international firm is capable of countering market competition owing to its ability to simplify Integration between vendors and supply chain systems. Such a marketing strategy could still be new in the market, and at the same time, the vehicles have to prove their convenience and ease of use by consumers.

This could grant the automobile company an advantage over their prime competitors since they will have to modify their products for easy working within the environment. For success to be realised, the company has to change and modify their business model to suit the current economic environment. The company should, at the same time, focus its investments on new generation cars and provide them at affordable prices. The firm has to obtain necessary incentives to enable the setting of low prices but maintaining the same quality products. At the same time, the firm should set high prices for the productivity applications enabling the creation of a stable financial base from the vehicles sold within the domestic market. The marketing operations from the firm’s business models should influence such elements as pricing, investment and time of the release of new models (Aaarkstores, 2010).

Excellent brand image initiates good ground for the company’s future development and progress within the Turkish market. This assists in making the company outstanding as one of the leaders in vehicle manufacturing and delivery. The firm should adopt the use of modern and upgraded technology in the process of providing consumers with products and services associated with the preferred generational taste. The secret to building an outstanding brand name is through making use of available resources that consider environmental impacts. The quality of products supplied and the nature of the work environment have got tremendous contributions to the brand image of the company. Market share coverage could be strengthened through building the relationship with consumers and other potential partners within the marketplace. At the same time, the company’s level of creativity and innovative ability should be the main focus since this enables them to have a competitive advantage over other players within the industry. This could act as a good source of emerging market strategies worth emulation by other automotive companies (Johnson et al., 2008, 51-59).

The focus should be based on providing excellence through efficient products capable of capturing significant market share. There is a need for upgrading most of the channels used in marketing the available vehicles. The company’s brand name should appear on the products since it helps in reinforcing consumer confidence while using the company’s products and services hence enabling them to enjoy international and local from loyal clients. Both the management and sales team should be professionally trained since this ensures through the understanding of basic needs within the market from the professional point of view. Hence ensures elimination of piracy from the market (Aaarkstores, 2010).

There is also a need for the firm to indulge in corporate social responsibilities to win the favour of the natives. These responsibilities range from offering donations to institutions, infrastructural development which provides an opportunity for the company to reinforce their good image. They should incorporate training programs focused on enlightening customers on product’s use, and at the same time, the company should provide consumers with enough warrant time regarding their products and services (Aaarkstores, 2010). Getting involved in environmental issues assist in promoting brand image. This is since the majority of the Turkish community admire environmentally conscious firms. Focus on the local community earns the company’s brand greater value hence command massive following (Johnson et al., 2008, 51-59).

The firms business model in such a market is considered to be dependent on factors such as; competitors, substitutes, complementary organisation and customers. There is also a possibility of creating joint ventures with other already established companies, hence providing the market with valuable products. Business models are known to have the potential of reinforcing deals through partnerships or detracting through competition (Johnson et al., 2008, 51-59).

Research Methodology

Flexible methods of data generation were used for the purposes of inductively gaining an understanding of the target market segment. The central methods of qualitative research used in this case involved an interview, recording during the interview and observation made on buying patterns. In-depth interviews were used to help in the gathering of information about Turkish automotive market. This assisted in gaining the understanding of the various interactions between marketers and consumers and how they interpret such interactions. The in-depth qualitative interview used was open-ended guaranteeing detailed, concrete answers about the Turkish Automotive market.

At the same time, Research Methodology used was based on information sources retrieved from reliable sources, including internet databases. Other sources included; published books and journals, industry portals, trade associations and government agencies. Analysis Methods utilised in this study included; historical trend analysis, judgmental forecasting, and cause and effect analysis. In order to solve the previously mentioned research problem, this research adopted a systematic Research Methodology. The need to investigate further on the marketing strategies used by major car manufacturers in emerging markets necessitated the development and ratification of a viable research methodology helpful in the illumination of this phenomenon. It is fundamental to consider such provisions following their significance in this research. This research formulated viable research questions capable of revealing the required explorations. Logically, the research question adopted was comprehensive and central to this study indicating why it had been chosen. The move considered the provisions of marketing strategies within the entire organisation in emerging markets.

In the proposed methodology, formulation of a viable research design helped in achieving the desired study results. In this research, research design ranged from the research plans to the aspects of data collection and analysis. Precisely, the design related to the nature of activities which were involved, including analysis, and presentation to the concerned audiences. This research aimed at utilising structured interviews in collecting viable data for analysis. The interviewees were selected from Marketing Managers from various major car manufacturers in Turkey. Various methods were used to source out best participants for this study, for example; emailing marketing departments of motor companies and networking through friends or colleagues. These interviews were conducted face to face and recorded with permissions of the interviewees for further analysis. The use of online facilities, including emails, was also counted remarkably.

This research aimed at meeting the previously mentioned research objectives with regard to the chosen topic. Evidently, the mentioned objective was quite appropriate in this context when critically analysed. In addition, this research was investigating extensively on the marketing strategies used by major car manufacturers in emerging markets to ensure that such organisations remain relevant and competitive in the market. Additionally, the section is able to unveil how those organisations have strategised to enact viable marketing provisions to enhance their market presence. The objectives in this research incorporate knowing how such strategies are set, their variability, application, and appropriateness in various emerging markets (Creasey & Jeffrey 2003, p. 27). It is through the constructively set objectives that the research finds its direction and obligation in the entire processes.

The well-designed objectives helped the research to stay focused on its mandates and provided the desired results with regard to marketing strategies used by major car manufacturers in emerging markets. Accordingly, marketing strategies have numerous stipulations following their significance and frequent application in various organisations and among individuals who aspire for novelties in their marketing careers (Kumar 2005, p. 57). Marketing strategies applied by principal car manufacturers in emerging markets are critical, as indicated earlier. Researching more on its aspects provides a viable chance to understand its fundamentals.

The methodology also incorporated extensive literature review and therefore demanded extensive research. It employed various research methods with regard to the literature review in order to emerge with viable information (Venkatraman, 1989). Understanding the chosen topic is critical in identifying the knowledge gaps, setting appropriate objectives, and formulating a viable study design that relates to the knowledge attained from the literature review. It is through the literature review the entire arguments regarding the matter emerged (Cameron & Mike 2009, p. 42). Since it provided the background information on the topic under study, it formed a critical component of the research methodology.

Adopting viable marketing tactics to capture emerging markets is crucial (Anast, 2001, p. 13). Precisely, the literature review is a vital component of the research methodology with regard to the studied topic. From the literature review, it was evident that major car manufacturers establish, ratify, and embrace changes in the realms of their missions, business strategies, operations, technologies, culture, and behaviours of employees. Understanding these marketing provisions is helpful in designing a viable research methodology (Creasey and Jeffrey 57). Literature review with regard to this study topic required books, journals, documentaries, electronic publications, valid websites, and other lucrative publications in this context. These sources contain valid information concerning the marketing strategies used by major car manufacturers in emerging markets (Ferrell & Hartline, 2011).

Data collection

In order to collect viable information required for this dissertation, this research utilised structured interviews targeting relevant marketing managers in the major car manufacturers in Turkey. Precisely, around eight marketing managers of various major car manufacturers in Turkey was the main source of information for this dissertation. Appropriate interview questions were structured to probe the concerned managers. The managers participated in an extensive in-depth interview which enabled obtaining of information which also incorporated minority viewpoints. Such viewpoints might not have been shared in a group context if at all was involved. Despite the willingness of interviewees to provide the required information, they needed clear direction on the amount of detail. As mentioned, the in-depth interviews were semi-structured since the intention was based on the exploration of issues concerning interactions, consumer behaviours, company collaborations and market integration from each manager’s perspective. List of prepared questions was referred to during the actual interview process. Before any interview was undertaken, respondents were asked to go through and sign if possible a consent form. Each participant was assigned with a codename to represent their actual names.

The research also utilised the process of gathering customer insight through the mail, which requires a detailed survey and research from secondary sources. The application of secondary and primary data assisted in obtaining adequate information regarding consumer’s present and past positions. Secondary data utilised in this research emerged from journals, directories, company’s internal database and Turkish government statistics on market trends. Additionally, there was access to the online database from various automotive companies obtained through web search engines. At some instant, there was the use of observations to establish consumer behaviour while, at the same time, surveys were carried out for the purposes of providing descriptive information based on consumer preferences and buying patterns.

Consumer behaviour is basically the study of buying activities and patterns amongst the target population within the defined territory. Generally, consumers pass through several processes before purchasing the product of their choice. All these, including the reactions and responses after consumption, are used in the description of consumer behaviour. Consumer behaviours related to the purchase of a commodity as well as emotional responses can be determined through various consumer activities. This is since consumer responses are basically focused on emotional behaviours towards goods and the marketing procedures involved in selling intended commodities. At the same time, there are mental responses which refer to consumers’ opinions, attitudes, beliefs and intentions involving the purchase of products (Kotler and Keller, 2007).

Market segmentation involved in this case incorporated, bringing together those with similar needs, preferences and buying patterns. The new firm’s aim is to target lucrative segments within the Turkish market. The overall analysis incorporates managerial decisions made concerning customer needs which require attention. Market segmentation provides the company with a clear picture of the nature of the intended market based on the needs of the population. The kind of segmentation done in this study was based on services and shared consumer characteristics.

Data collected from the live interview provided the required information helpful in drafting the research findings. The questions used were relatively based on descriptive data, marketing strategies and general. Managers from the sampled firms responded concerning the directions their companies had adopted in relation to working strategies capable of handling situations within the crisis periods. Data was also collected from viable secondary sources, including peer journals, books, valid articles, authenticated websites, and other validated online sources. Additionally, the fact that most books, journals, and peer articles have been verified and the authors concerned are qualified enough to make such claims rendered their opinions valid and consumable by the public and researchers intending to proceed with investigations (Paas 2009, p. 92). This augmented the validity, reliability, and authenticity of the concerned study. Logically, it makes the ultimate findings reliable for consumption by the concerned entities (Kumar 2005, p. 55).

Data Analysis

Qualitative research demands spending time in the field for the purposes of generating data then categorising the data into themes. The research produced a detailed, in-depth description of the kind of interactions within the Turkish market. The credibility of this research was demonstrated through transparency, consistency, as well as communicability. Transparency allows the reader to follow the process that was used to generate data. At the same time, the intellectual capability of the interviewer is also revealed through the clear records of what was done. The notes taken during the interview provided the data used for the analysis and interpretation of this study. For the purposes of transparency of this study, the detailed and explanatory literature review was used. Also, detailed notes were taken of all manner of communication, and all interpretations recorded hence avoiding loss of context during data analysis. The interview notes were coded, providing a big percentage of the data used in this study.

Inductive coding was used to cater for careful examination and exploration of inconsistencies. Coding involves breaking down and conceptualisation of data. Codes were developed and categorised to explore the various similarities and differences used for coding, while categories provided means of integrating the theory aspect of the research. Peer debriefing was used with two other counterparts (RN and MR), ensuring consistency in the analysis of the data. The two also helped in developing and follow- up of the coding process. Transcripts used were read three times with specific questions in mind, such as; Are there any similarities or differences between the read transcripts? Similarity or differences in ideas across each of the transcripts was analysed, substantiation of initial ideas and existence of central idea. The answers to these aspects were noted and highlighted within the transcript margins.

Investigator triangulation was utilised in this research where the two companions RN and MR read some subsample transcripts (n=2) and developed preliminary coding frame for the same, and ultimately shared their individual interpretation of the transcripts (Schwadt, 1997). The findings of the two were compared and contrasted, leading conclusive information regarding the coding data. Similarities and differences were noted for the purposes of producing, coding frame applicable for all data. The new structure was created out of the new codes emerging from re-reading of the transcripts. This process of analysis and comparing of data took approximately twenty days, making it possible conceptualisation of the findings based on grounded theory.

Communicability in this research was achieved through prolonged engagement with respondents through in-depth interviews. The interview helped in the development of ideas and themes based on their personal interpretations. Marketing managers, production managers, branding and branch managers were all interviewed. Triangulation of the qualitative data sources was done in order to ensure ultimate trust with the results provided. Information given was cross-checked and compared for consistency purposes. This involved checking consistency on the same responses concerning the same questions, comparing of respondents perspectives and also cross-checking interview data with observations. Views of the marketing managers, production managers, brand managers and branch managers were triangulated. This approach was very much consistent with the grounded theory approach, which encourages the use of a variety of data sources in defining a given phenomenon. The differences and consistencies in overall data used for this study contributed greatly to the credibility of findings (LeCompete, 2000).

The retrieved data from the studied books were analysed and synthesised into a coherent knowledge based on the findings of the research. In this section of the methodology, the data was compiled and assorted such that relevant, similar, and coherent information was put together. Conflicting views were grouped separately (Sheth 1992, p. 57). Study analysis employed the aspects of qualitative and quantitative aspects. The qualitative analysis considered particular variables and inferences under investigation while quantitative analysis considered the aspects of numbers, volume, degrees, and levels at which the studied variable occurred. An important provision in this context incorporated the aspects of data analysis, as indicated earlier (Arnold & Quelch 1998, p. 34).

Results

Selective coding, which presents the ultimate stage in a qualitative analysis based on grounded theory, was used to finalise the data. Emerging theory from the interpretations of the data was developed. Several themes emerged from the data; a) popularity of advertising through internet and social media, b) Brand image as an effective positioning factor within the market, c) Stiff competition from local producers as a determinant of the level market penetration, d) the importance of pricing, differences in the demand for commercial and personal vehicles, e) use of social events in marketing vehicles, f) design of the cars as a tool in differentiating brands.

Factors representing the promotion element of the marketing mix were found to be of much importance to this study. These include factors such as; promotional budget, advertising budget, media usage, sampling and public relations. The other factors, as explained related to product strategy, which includes new product improvements, the range of products, quality of automobiles and marketing expenditures discussed as general marketing strategies. The manager of Renault pointed out the need to reach young people by matching the qualities of the cars with their modern scope. Some of the promotional strategies applicable in the Turkish market include sponsorship of events like art festivals, a strategy used by Volkswagen and offering after-sale services.

Commercial marketing manager of Volkswagen supported the act of using the internet and social media as effective advertising tools owing to their growing popularity within Turkey. The same was echoed by most of the respondents, such as marketing managers of Seat, Volkswagen Auto. Brand image plays an important role within the Turkish market since European markets are saturated by cars. Citroen, for instance, has embarked in launching premium cars with extra equipment for differentiation purposes. As resonated by Citroen branding manager, competition based on branding is high and ultimately determines the nature of pricing within the market. For instance, the aspect used on Dacia to market its concept of being smart by use of celebrity endorsement. Such method added value to the company’s car model as shown.

Dacia Smart Image advertisement.
Fig 1: Dacia Smart Image advertisement.

The technological aspect is also an important aspect of advertisement marketing. For example, Citroen C4 model’s technological abilities were displayed efficiently to consumers by the use of C4 Robot and the musical background, as shown in the figure below.

C4 Robot technology.
Fig 2: C4 Robot technology.

The automobile firms which have experienced success within the Turkish market like Renault have at some point increased their sales, market share as well as net profit. This shows that success was, at times, attained in the event that vehicles are sold at reasonable sales prices. The sentiments were echoed by Renault marketing manager’s emphasis on the car’s widespread network based on its capacity to provide good service and image at a good price level (Clive & Kirkpatrick, 2004, pp. 441-469). Foreign firms have ventured into the Turkish automotive industry through wholly-owned subsidiaries, International Joint Ventures (IJVs), and licensing agreements (Gursoy and Aydogan, 2002).

Corporate ownership within the Turkish automotive industry provides one of the factors with potential contributions towards the strategic shift in firm strategies. Foreign multinational companies own a good percentage of the shares of automotive firms within Turkey, making them have full control over those enterprises. According to Maug 1998, large shareholders are always known to have a considerable bias towards joint ventures since they demand high stakes on returns. High ownership stakes held by foreign owners within the Turkish automotive market have made them play a major role in the formulation of business strategies (Culpan, 2002). Joint ventures are seen as one of the most important avenues of capturing the market, for instance, Ford partnership with Koc Group assisted in creating trust on Ford’s brand within Turkish market as revealed by Ford’s branch manager during the interview.

Automotive firms operating within Turkish market are categorised into three groups depending on their entry modes: WOS, IJVs and through Las. Most firms enter the market through IJVs which represents 53% of the firms, with WOS accounting for 27% of the firms with the rest accounting for 20% (Culpan, 1989, pp. 207-218).

Table 1; Market entry modes (Collis, 1991).

Name Foreign ownership (%) Foreign affiliation Market entry modes
Anadolu Honda 100 Honda Foreign wholly-owned subsidiary
Anadolu Isuzu 29.8 Isuzu International joint venture
BMC 0.0 N/A Domestic wholly-owned subsidiary
Ford Otosan 41 Ford International joint venture
Hyundai Assan 50 Hyundai International joint venture
Karsan 0.00 Peugeot Licensing agreements
MAN Turkiye 99.9 MAN Foreign wholly-owned subsidiary
Mercedes-Turk 85.0 Daimler Chrysler International joint venture
Otokar 0.0 Deutz and T. Rover Licensing agreements
Otoyol 27.0 Iveco International joint venture
Oyak-Renault 51.0 Renault International joint venture
Temsa 0.0 Mitsubishi Licensing agreements
Tofas 37.5 Fiat International joint venture
Toyota 100.0 Toyota Foreign wholly-owned subsidiary
Turk Tractor 37.5 CNH International joint venture
Uzel 0.0 Massey Ferguson and Perkins Licensing agreements

Pricing strategy

Results obtained revealed no significant differentiation in the performance of companies implementing various pricing policies in times of difficult experiences within the market. The test used in analysing the scenario revealed no difference in sales volume between automotive firms despite price adjustments. However, one of the major factors affecting the pricing mechanism in Turkey is higher taxes imposed on passenger vehicles, as explained by Volkswagen marketing manager. In the case where price variable was considered alongside quality strategy, it was found that the level of sales, market share and average performance was higher within the firms which concentrated on quality improvement. The result shows the importance, consumers within the Turkish market attach to the product quality compared to prices, and quality should be maintained even at low product prices. Based on these results, it is also important to note that passenger vehicles market in Turkey is slightly higher than that of commercial vehicles owing to demand and nature of the duty imposed on these vehicles. This is contrary to the rest of Europe’s market, where the passenger vehicles market has a big margin, about nine times bigger than that of commercial vehicles.

Promotion strategy

The results reveal a promotional strategy as an important part of marketing strategies. The results suggest that the managers interviewed were considering a wide range of promotional options. For instance, Seat utilises its marketing campaigns during holiday periods to attract those going on vacations. They tend to create an image promoting the importance of owning a personal car while on vacation in the mind of buyers by using such advertisements as shown in the figure below. Seat utilises the use of exhibitions within busy districts which is an important aspect to follow when launching new models within the market.

Seat Holiday Exhibition.
Fig 3: Seat Holiday Exhibition.

Porsche organises for road-trips and test drives for their customers. This is a good strategy which enables the company to socialise with consumers and create good connections as well. However, the size of the sales force had a tremendous impact on performance. The company would most probably use sales promotion through motor shows to market their vehicles like Volkswagen. This is since the company is still new in the Turkish market, hence the need for attracting and persuading consumers. Promotion strategy would help the company to compete favourably within the automotive market. In order to encourage repeat sales, the company would use direct mails and catalogues to loyal consumers. The use of appropriate public relations would help in attracting more customers since the tool ensures direct contact and, at the same time, help in the building of the brand (Kotler and Keller, 2007). Majority of the Turkish access media through computers and phones hence media could be utilised for the purposes sensitising the market concerning available vehicles.

General marketing strategy

According to the results, it was noted that some strategies were common across companies. This shows that the experience of average success, sales and increase in market share within the foreign market is possible for the automotive firms which have persistence and concentration in the countries where they have strong brand position and increased marketing expenditures. An example is the case of Seat, Volkswagen and Renault (Verwaal and Donkers, 2002). Automotive firms within Turkey should consider offering necessary extension services within their development portfolio. The product range is also an important aspect when considering the Turkish market, as explained by Seat marketing manager. As explained, they are unable to cover 60% of the market due to the small range of their products within Turkey. Offers on extension services, enables saving on costs and at the same time help in improving business productivity, efficiency and enhanced security on Intellectual property through the provision of easily managed vehicle models.

Discussion

The automobile company will utilise various promotional elements such as advertising, sales promotion and public relations. The company can easily utilise Push and Pull approaches. Push strategy can be used in the process of positioning the product within appropriate market segments guaranteeing high sales. This is since the model can assist in the process of equipping various distribution channels making easy delivery of vehicles whenever required. However, a push strategy is normally controlled by the management of the company (Kotler and Keller, 2007). Renault utilises such a strategy using Turks staff in top management positions. The majority in the human resource is of Turkish origin hence understands the market so well. This has helped Renault to position itself within the market.

Pull strategy is utilised whenever the needs and wants of a target population require attention. The strategy is used in the process of upgrading marketing strategies required in reaching the target population. The model assists in generating innovative ideas necessary for meeting the market demand and, at the same time, ensures that products are available for sale at convenient centres (Kotler and Keller, 2007). The use of message strategy across all promotion tools demands that the positioning of the company’s design within the marketing tools determines the strength of the brand. The design used in conveying a message on the product should be consistent with the company’s identity (Drewniany and Jewler, 2008). An example is Renault’s Megan car model being the first car engineered with a push-button for the engine, hence matching its elegant quality associated with it amongst consumers.

As revealed in the study, a dramatic shift within business environments is always a common phenomenon; hence firms operating within such environments need a thorough revision of their business strategies for the purposes of coping with such changes. This paper clearly gives contributions towards the understanding of such unexpected dramatic shifts owing to economic policies and market dynamics within various regions, especially developing countries, and the various intervening marketing principles applied by the multinational companies. The empirical study done within the Turkish market provides clear evidence on the nature of strategic shifts undertaken by various firms involved. This proves that the study provided the conceptual model and empirical findings, enabling the provision of needed insights required in the analysis and understanding of various firm strategies applicable within emerging markets amidst environmental changes.

The market experience in Turkey as per the study shows the various instances where the automobile companies need to make strategic adjustments for the purposes of sustaining their various levels of competitiveness within the emerging markets. For instance, Porsche introduced hybrid cars of boxer and spyder for the purposes of the competition and satisfying consumer needs. The market conditions within such regions as Turkey yield more economic liberalisation, competition, high likelihood of economic crises and political instability. There is a need for these companies to closely watch the changing market and make possible strategic adjustments in preparation to venture into emerging markets. They should modify their strategies to suit the domestic market based on company profiles and the level of maturity within the industry. According to Nohria 2006, in the case of complex and uncertainty within any market environment success of a company is entirely dependent on continuous sensing and response capabilities and not just plans (Nohria, 2006, p 23).

Most of the companies interviewed cited the importance of brand within the Turkish market. Dominant designs are one of the most important marketing aspects within the Turkish market. It makes a narrow class of vehicle designs to emerge as standard design. Companies willing to have an absolute competitive advantage over other competitors strive to attain the dominant design status. Many competing automobile designs exist within the market, and each seems to attain the status after considerable trial and error within the marketplace.

Cultural differences also play a significant role in determining business relationships, especially in e-commerce. For the International automotive companies to succeed, language issues, acceptance by the local market and understanding of the Turkish business culture are very crucial. Knowledge about the level of communication used by the locals is necessary for the purposes of establishing trust, especially through media and Web-based environment. One of the majorly used aspects of business relationship within Turkey is e-commerce related. A good percentage of the population use websites in the development of the personal international business relationship. The Web site is basically used to make connections based on sensitivity across the cultural aspects.

Automotive companies aim at satisfying the needs of their respective customers which at times differ depending on tastes and fashions. Generally, consumers differ in preferences and needs, and these forces the companies to be dynamic in their activities. This calls for change in marketing strategy applied since different segments carry varied weights based on consumer needs. The success of the automobile firm depends on the level of technology the company implements as well as the nature of experienced staff the firm employs. The company’s value attached to their brand is crucial in earning them considerable market share. Despite the existing threats comprising of rapid development from other sectors of the economy due to the country’s economic growth and recession, there still an opportunity of building a strong brand within the domestic market. The established brand has got the capability of making the company one of the trusted suppliers of automobiles, even during economic recessions.

Ethical Issues and Limitations

This study embraced ethics in its entire contexts. This is quite important when considered critically. Observing morals and preserving the dignity of the concerned regions targeted by the marketing strategies are crucial (Omar & Nwankwo 2011, p. 224). Additionally, the authors of the mentioned publications were recognised for their contributions to this study. It is ethical to do so despite the legal requirements guiding such issues. One of the limitations encountered in this study was the manager’s subjective perceptions of performance measures rather than financial data. Most of the firm’s financial data were not disclosed; this lowered the strength of the findings. At the same time, qualitative interviews normally have some limitations associated with the time and costs involved. Qualitative interviewers usually work with a small sample of people, making it impossible to generalise the findings to other similar population scenarios. Another limitation revolves around the interviewer who takes an active role in data collection. There is a higher probability of bias on the results since the interviewer determines data to be collected.

Conclusion and Recommendations

The aim of this study is to unveil the marketing strategies used by major car manufacturers in emerging markets. It is crucial to agree that the automobile industry is rapidly growing. The industry is quite competitive due to new technologies and the changing market demands (Harris 2004, p. 97). This has forced various organisations to revisit their marketing strategies and other business operations so as to remain buoyant in the market. Major car manufactures have formulated various strategies that can allow them to grasp and retain considerable market share in the emerging markets.

Contextually, there are freshly emerging markets for the motor vehicle industry. It is crucial to understand the marketing strategies used by major car manufacturers in emerging markets so as to determine their fates and prosperity in such markets. Turkey exists among such markets due to various opportunities it offers to the major car manufacturing organisations (Venkatraman and Camillus, 1984, p. 514). Nonetheless, such organisations require appropriate marketing tactics to enhance their market divide and global visibility. The marketing strategies that are employed in this context range from improved marketing ventures to the production of various types of vehicles that would meet the varying customer demands. The use of other novel marketing options is equally considerable in this context. The expected contribution of this study is vast and considerable, as indicated in its objectives. The aspects of research questions, literature review, methodology, and ethical concerns equally matter in this context.

The study undertaken reveals some actions necessary for making significant contributions in theory and practice. There is an investigation of the effects of implementing an appropriate market strategy for the purposes of countering economic crisis. Studies in the literature focus mostly on the general measures taken by companies in a bid of reducing the overall negative effects amidst crisis within the market place. However, they have not thoroughly explained the outcomes on performance indicators. Most firms have implemented such actions as regulating production capacity, downsizing the workforce, which has but produced insignificant results.

However, the study undertaken in this paper investigates in details the effects of communication mix as a marketing strategy on company performance within the international emerging markets. The performance measures used as independent variables included sales, market share and profitability. The main purpose for this research analysis was providing decision-makers as well as marketing planners from the interested automotive firm, with evidence on the most effective marketing strategies and communication mix to implement for success in Turkish automotive market. The success of a company depends on its ability to adopt workable marketing strategies during abrupt changes within the market environment.

The study concludes that an increase in the volume of sales does not automatically guarantee profits. Further analysis investigates the benefit of price reductions during market crises. Changes in prices have got no effects on the level of the company’s performance the same with market diversification. However, the size of the salesforce and a number of distribution channels plays an important role in the firm’s success. This is consistent with Ang et al., (2000) view, stating that companies should enlarge their sales force to the optimum and at the same time increase distribution channels to enable market penetration. At the same time, superior performance could be realised by further training of the sales workforce (Bennett, 2005). The study also reveals the importance of emphasising on research and development, which contributes to the development of vehicles capable of capturing niche markets as well as technology with the ability to save costs. The result is consistent with the findings of DeDee and Vorhies (1998) recording that firms which improved the quality of their vehicles during moments of crisis achieved better results. Rao et al. (1988) concluded that one of the key strategies of dealing with the economic crisis is venturing into foreign markets as a longtime strategy.

The building of communication networks with consumers serves as an important aspect of marketing within emerging markets. Consumer confidence can be regained through promotion activities. Floating customers can easily be attracted to brands during the market crisis since most consumers are inclined towards shifting brands at such times. Advertising presents one of the most striking elements within the Turkish market. However, such increased advertising should be accompanied by a change in a style focused on appeals rather than imagery. In this case, media advertising and public relations are applicable means of the promotional mix in Turkish automotive market. Sampling was found to be one of the most effective sales promotion tools in the automotive market. Automotive companies should endeavour in introducing a number of vehicle varieties. In the same line, offering high-quality automobiles at the same price or same quality at slightly lower price ensured positive performance. This is consistent with Ang et al. (2000). They explain that product quality decisions should be made alongside pricing decisions. Marketing strategy based on promotions is effective in improving the firm’s profits. An improved sale on automobiles is dependent on product and promotion, while increased market share is dependent on promotion and distribution, making promotional strategy a crucial factor for decision-makers in the emerging Turkish automotive market.

Various changes within the business environment are caused by various circumstances which include crises capable of causing high volatility within the domestic market. There is also a creation of a liberal trading system by regions and cases of foreign ownership which are all responsible in the creation of strategic changes enabling the kind of competition being experienced within the Turkish automotive market. According to the analysis, foreign owners within the industry faced market threats giving them the option of either withdrawing their operations or designing market strategies capable of dealing with the various environmental challenges. Research reveals that some of the foreign companies resolved to increase their investments based on their current ventures while some automotive firms such as Toyota reacted by purchasing shares of their joint venture partner enabling them to take full control of the business ventures operations. Old strategies could not work for many firms owing to the import substitution. The working strategy involved boosting the technological capabilities hence allowing the production of newer and modern designs (Buckley and Casson, 1976).

Recommendations

Customer perceived value is important since consumers within the Turkish market are believed to always engage in thorough information search before gaining confidence with the alleged value attached to various products or company. The whole process involves both internal and external information search which enables consumers to identify various alternative information regarding the new company within the market. This calls for such firms to engage in aggressive programs with the ability to capture consumer’s attention (Payne and Holt, 2001). An external search is majorly applied by high involving firms which have been in the market for quite some years hence avail their product information through established web sites. Despite all these, consumers, at times, make a critical analysis of company attributes through compensatory decisions (Eggert and Ulaga, 2002). The value and quality of products should be determined from market perspective depending on the kind of segment being served since consumers tend to attach more value to some products compared to others. Nature of pricing on products defines the kind of segments the company should target since the benefits are always considered to be high, especially on highly-priced products (Barnes et al., 2009).

Application of appropriate means of communication ensures increased productivity owing to the instant sharing of information. Within the Turkish market, the population is already engaging into faster and instant means of information sharing through the use of computers hence reduced the cost of communication with clients and partners. The use of the internet provides sufficient access for customers, including remote users. The kind of marketing strategy applied enables easy business collaborations between organisations and, at the same time, enables protection of sensitive business information. Such would ensure the possibility of such automotive firms in extending infrastructure investments through the incorporation of new technologies into the international market environment.

The company should encourage the use of the automated and well-organised system for the purpose of reducing the amount of time that customers spend while transacting their businesses and activities by use of the internet. The website used by the company enables easy access to required vehicle brands and, at the same time, enables consumers to indicate detailed characteristics of the products they require. Consumer confidence should be boosted through protection from fraudulent activities.

The firm should design machines and vehicles to enable comfort and convenience. The firm should utilise its strong brand in the process of driving the sale of its products and enhancement of partnerships with related companies within the automotive industry. Usually, the joint ventures are preferred for the purposes of attracting healthy competition within the marketplace (Piercy, 2009).

Concerning the establishment, there is a need for the company to operate in organised plans based on the available resources. The process of establishment requires a stable capital base which would account for the heavy tax charged by the country of operation. This would also enable the company to easily capture available market opportunities hence granting the firm considerable advantage over other competitors having limited capital from cash at hand. The company requires strategic plans capable of providing the market with high-quality services and, at the same time, requires heavy capital investment. At the same time, the company requires adequate plans at the business unit level to enable inclusion of additional products and services such as vehicle spare parts. Specialisation and accountability are made easier through a clear definition of plans at the functional level. This is necessary in case adjustments are required owing to increased demand for the supplies. At the same time company’s scope requires reasonable definition to enable wide coverage of the existing market opportunities. The company is endowed with the responsibility of serving different groups of consumer segments (Frow and Payne, 2008).

The increase in the utilisation of modern technology within Turkey will force the company to utilise the art of direct marketing through the internet. The approach towards consumer segments will be made through social sites, email and the company’s website. At later stages, it would be preferable for the company to utilise actionable data in this case sales database, customer information databases, inventory control databases and product tracking database. This would easily help the automotive company identify customers who are closely associated with the kind of vehicles offered hence making it easier for delivery purposes within the target market. In such a case, it will be required that the company utilises multi-channel marketing system since the current individual consumers have adopted the use of the variety of channels through which they order their purchases.

Marketing executives provide the necessary avenues for marketing the products since they are basically involved with resource allocations crucial in the promotion of product sales. Marketing basically involves activities dealing with public relations, advertising and sales promotions. The main products within the market are basically marketed after thorough research is done on the target market segments guaranteeing strong cooperation between the consumers and the automobiles supplied. Advertising can be used as a means of drawing public attention towards established brand quality (Kotler and Keller, 2007). On the other hand, integrated marketing communication mix comprises different elements such as personal selling, advertising, sales promotion, public relations and direct marketing. However, the elements require greater detail, utilisation of modern information technology approved by the market segments. Complementing integrated marketing mix with various communication methods ensures effective achievement (Lane et al., 2008).

Recommendations on safety

The level of concern an organisation gives to its Occupational Health and Safety matters determines the productivity rates. Internal strengths and weaknesses help in bridging the gap that exists between the current status of the organisation and its future. The strengths within the organisation is determined by; its employees, the venue, skills and expertise, the events that take place within the organisation and the manner in which it cares for its staff including the training and development. The weaknesses within are determined by; lack of enough funds for expansion, low workforce, the poorly laid down structures of governance and management, being in poor locations, ineffective ways of communication and in some cases internal squabbles

Due diligence is used to refer to the health and safety responsibilities one should take in order to ensure that every precaution within circumstances is taken for the purposes of avoiding work-related injuries or illnesses. Reasonable care taken in any situation assists in holding individuals accountable for various actions and ignorance. The concept of due diligence involves the application of high standards of reasonable care by use of common sense and often determined based on the degree of risk involved. Taking the responsibility on maintaining safety and high standards of health in a workplace normally comes with the right to operate in a safe and healthy workplace. All these are prescribed in the Occupational Health and Safety legislation. The legislation provides for individual accountability in carrying out various responsibilities (Crown Content, 2001).

General OHS measures that employers should implement in an attempt to comply with legislation and due diligence.

The general OHS Act and Regulations normally requires employers to establish OHS committees within the workplaces comprising of at least ten workers. The committees should also include Workplace Health and Safety representatives comprising of between two to nine workers depending on the agreement between employer and workers. The number of management members should be less than that of labour committee members. Employers through the OHS committee and Workplace Health and Safety representative should ensure that workers from every department are informed concerning workplace hazards. The workers should, at the same time, be educated on the various ways through which they are able to address health and safety concerns. Employee education and training on occupational health and safety should be reviewed quite often; hence recommendations on training made as appropriate (Crown Content, 2001).

Concerning hazard control, employers should consider the use of personal protective equipment (PPE) as a last resort. Personal protective equipment should be used for the purposes of reducing the extent of injuries within the workplace. However, the employers are required to understand the limitations of PPE fully and, at the same time, ensure proper fitting for individual use. Employees should always be on proper and appropriate dress code matching particular work done. The personal wearing apparel should be of the type and condition which will ensure that individuals are not exposed to unnecessary hazards. Those working under situations involving moving vehicles should wear devices with highly visible material (NOHSC, 1996).

In Turkey’s motor industry OHS performance through WorkCover Corporation instituted ‘SAfer Industries’ strategy to ensure the reduction of injuries and illnesses within the workplace. The act identifies occupational health and safety as corporate responsibility amongst employers and their employees. WorkCover supported the institution of the act, despite the strategy being recognised as industry-driven. The SAfer Industries program involves many issues such as steering industry-wide ownership of OHS, helping industries to recognise and identify various key issues with significant effects to OHS performance and supporting industries access to OHS services and other resources. The implementation of OHSMS within the industry provides an opportunity of sharing as well as learning from experiences leading to enhancement of OHS performance (Productivity Commission, 1998).

In Turkey’s Health Care Industry, there is the Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) Act which oversees the development and production of various goods and services. The unit ensures that there are consistency and uniform standards capable of meeting OSH risk management standards based on State Treasury Instruction (TI) 109. The trends within the health industry in Turkey work towards achieving possible integration of quality, environment together with safety (NOHSC, 1996).

Safety Case Approach can be described as the primary means through which safe operations of major hazard facility (MHF) is ensured. It comprises of all the necessary policies, objectives, codes, procedures, tools, data, tools and roles used for managing safe operations of any facility. Safety case requires the usage and implementation of well-established safety regulations. The concept helps in embracing the attributes of all facilities involved in the safe operation either directly or indirectly controlled (Productivity Commission, 1998). The attributes identified comprises of leadership; planning; roles, cultures, responsibilities as well as all the measures used in controlling safe operations. Safety Case assists the employer in organising for prevention and control of the anticipated risks that may endanger health and safety.

Safety Case Approach provides an explanation concerning the organisation as well as personnel issues. The case assists in defining the various roles and responsibilities of employees in line with the safety operations within the organisation. The approach ensures that employees have the necessary knowledge and skills, enabling them to competently discharge their specified duties (Crown Content, 2001).

It also helps employers address the various human factor issues considered to have the potential of affecting safe operations. Such issues include; knowledge management, staff turnover, fatigue, disputes, communications, clarity on the chain of command amongst others. The approach also assists employers in operational controls. These include the processes and procedures required for the smooth operation of equipment. Operational control includes the processes within the system which are applied for the purposes of identifying, rectifying and eliminating of human errors (Productivity Commission, 1998). Most human errors occur in the process of procedural checks, errors in reporting and procedure compliance improvements.

Change management is also enhanced by the Safety Case Approach. Employers are at times liable to making and introducing changes which might at times bring new major hazards. However, the approach brings about effective management of the various changes within the facility. The process helps in tracking various changes to the facility, various control measures hence ensuring efficient monitoring, revision and evaluation of processes. Safety Case Approach also enables employers to initiate and implement accurate principles and standards (AS4801-2000, 2000).

The concepts applied in ensuring safe operation may be technical, engineering and management principles instituted by those in charge of operations. Such principles include those touching on human resource management, engineering design standards, preventive measures standards and design on process control systems. Employers are also able to check and monitor activities, ensuring the actuality of the results. Auditing and review are all made possible through the Safety Case Approach since the management framework appears clearly defined. The degree of compliance evaluation against required standards is also made possible. The level of quality control and assurance are easily brought to check. All the systems and procedures are checked to ensure desired results through adequate reporting and investigation of desired results (AS4801-2000, 2000).

A number of examples exist representing true safety management. A significant level of reliance can be demanded by the operator on the employees. In such a case, the workers are required to show responsibility and directives necessary in the maintenance of safe operation. The Safe Case Approach is tailored to focus on such areas as competency, information, training and acquisition of knowledge required in enhancing employees effectiveness on the specific roles. An employer may focus on strict adherence to system operations with less emphasis on the worker dynamic elements. In such a case much of the operations and procedures in writing are enforced and followed to the latter. The other example could be drawn from the fact that operators may rely so much on engineering controls. Such reliance will call for an emphasis on the maintenance and design procedures instead of operation procedures. However, some basic elements may be applied but in different perspective based on Safety Case philosophies (Australian Standard, AS/NZS 4804, 2001).

Existence of risks is inevitable from various industries and workplaces. However, there should be necessary measures instituted for the purposes of reducing injuries and illnesses. Risks can well be managed through the integration of OHS measures at every level of organisation and the various management processes. The overall management of workplace safety should maximise their functions through the implementation of strategic roles. Observation of strict OHS measures could lead to significant change, positive relationships and enhanced productivity within any organisation.

Strategic planning is very necessary for the development and growth of any business entity. It plays a very important role in the management and execution of duties that enables an organisation to achieve its goals. Each business organisation plans to attain stable financial growth supported by a very strong foundation. They strive to lead in terms of governance and management of resources. A clear vision and mission statement needs to be developed in order to show what the organisation is up to achieve within a particular period. Both long term and short term goals need to be stated, including the objectives. These need to be developed and arranged within their key performance areas, which are the general areas of operation within a business organisation. The key performance areas may include; administration, Marketing and Finance. Within the key performance, areas are the primary focus areas.

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Appendix I: Research Timetable

Task Duration Start Date End Date
Identifying Viable Research Topic 7 Days 24.04.2012 01.05.2012
Identifying research problem statement 5 Days 02.05.2012 07.05.2012
Research Proposal 28 Days 08.05.2012 05.06.2012
Setting Research Questions, Objectives, and significance of the Study 15 Days 15.06.2012 30.06.2012
Theoretical Framework 10 Days 01.07.2012 10.07.2012
Formulating the Research Methods / Data Collection methods / Data Analysis practices 12 Days 11.07.2012 23.07.2012
Ethic issues 8 Days 24.07.2012 01.08.2012
Research Strategies 4 Days 02.08.2012 06.08.2012
Research Methods 4 Days 07.08.2012 11.08.2012
Data Collection 28 Days 12.08.2012 09.09.2012
Analysis, results and conclusions 20 Days 10.09.2012 30.09.2012
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