Marketing Plan: SUBARU Oman
Oman, one of the countries in the region of GCC, officially called as the Sultanate of Oman, situated on the south west Asia on the southeast coast of Arab Peninsula. The total population of Oman is 3,314 million with the GDP of 78.11 billion with the high income level citizens and with peaceful condition prevails in the country. The country is rich with its storage of mineral oil and natural gas reserves. The country is rated as the most improved nation during the preceding 40 years globally. The people of the country, with the ability to live affluent life, can afford to have vehicles in their possession with the high quality grade. The main car manufacturing companies are present in the country with their range of different level cars. The market leader is Toyota with their varied range of cars. There are others from Europe, Japan and Korea also. The prominent names are Nissan, Hyundai, Kia, Lexus, Isuzu, etc. Subaru is one of the stake holders of the automotive market with their presence in the automotive market of Oman. The competition is stiff with the presence of so many stalwarts but due to the stake holding of Toyota in Subaru, the brand finds its distinctive place with the range of customized cars with latest features. The corporate Vice President and General Manager, Mr.Hidetoshi Kobayashi, in his speech reiterated that Oman will be the prime target of Fuji Heavy Industries for their Subaru brand of cars so far top priority market id concerned. He had also ranked as the best selling market for the brand of Subaru within the GCC and Africa market. The distributors’ meet held in Oman is keeping in mind the growth prospect of the market and the brand recognition Subaru enjoys here. The safety aspect is well taken care of with the highest ranking of safety prevails in the all cars manufactured by Subaru. The competitors are there in the market with their presence, but the presence of Subaru is also there with the view of 1% growth by 2015, as projected by the management of Fuji Heavy Industries. The associates in Oman for Subaru are OTE group as the strategic business partner and their role is excellent as per the management of Subaru.
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The ratio of own vehicle holder in Oman comparison to population is 215 per 1000 population. It denotes the percentage of 2105% which is extraordinary keeping in mind the population factor. The segmentation of the customers is obviously in three major groups of economy cars, sedan cars and premium SUV. Subaru has the variety in all the segments with the added advantage of smart look and other excellent features prevailing in the range (Abdul-Muhmin, 2010). With special emphasis on the luxury cars keeping in mind the demand generation, the company mainly highlights the models named Legacy, the most established brand with its two varieties of 2.5lt and 2.5lt GT. The most demanded vehicles are Legacy and Impress in the segment of sedan cars. The SUV segment is being served by the models of Outback, Forester and Tribeca. With the introduction of the boxer engines, the travelling will be more smooth and easy and effortless. The target audience of the sedan or leisure car is the affluent class of people with their demand of the luxury life style which is fulfilled by the Subaru cars. The target audience of different of segments of cars is fixed as per the population statistics of Oman. The consumers of Sports Utility Vehicle are the neo stylist group with their choice intended for the SUV car. The advertisement drawing attention of the group of people afford the cars will come automatically to purchase the same. The people of Oman are the well off people and they decided their own choice. The buyer will look for the offers Subaru offers, and they will compare and buy their desired vehicles. The more discussed range of sports car termed as sports coupe with the high capability engine of 2.0lt boxer engine with the feature of rear wheel for comfortable driving (Geiger-Oneto, Gelb, Walker, & Hess, 2013).
The objective of Subaru is obviously to prove its presence in the market of Oman. The market is now dominated by the automotive giants like Toyota, Nissan, Hyundai, Issuzu etc. The first objective is to get into the market. For this reason Subaru has tied up with OTE of Oman for marketing of their vehicles with the additional feature of servicing of their vehicle. OTE is a renowned name in the automotive business of Oman by their tie up with the big players of automotive in Oman. The objective of raising the market share by 1% by 2015, as stated by the Corporate Vice President, is not so easy. The main goal is to be divided into several micro natures of goals, which will, with their accumulated effect of achievement, make the company reach the ultimate goal. The micro objectives are to ensure the supply of the vehicles as soon as possible after getting the booking. The next objective is to deliver the vehicle with the basic features of the vehicle to be understood by the cliental base. The next objective is to provide proper servicing for the vehicle with the stipulated nature for the stipulated period, the fourth goal is to make the provision for the spares which are to be imported from the mainland of Japan. All these objectives are done with the macro objective of making the presence in Oman market. The role of promotion is also very important for achieving the objective, as the awareness of the features of the cars must be known to the people so that they can opt for their preferred type of vehicle.
The basic features of marketing mix strategies for the case of Subaru is given below:-
Product- the vehicle of Subaru is not the type which can be treated with the question on quality. The parent group, Fuji Heavy Industries never compromises on quality. Moreover the stake of 16.5 % held by Toyota gives the vehicle the edge in the market with the professional expertise rendered by Toyota. The products are state-of-the-art with their salient features of rear wheel drive and powerful Boxer engines in use, make the vehicles of Subaru special and make their presence felt in the market (Anderson, Fornell, & Lehmann, 1994).
Price- the price of the vehicles of Subaru with different brands and segment are at per with the market price. It is bit difficult to negotiate the price due to the nature of transportation which only gets from the manufacturing place of Japan. The non availability of local assembling unit is not available in GCC as well as Mena countries. Even the spares are also get imported from the mainland of Japan. So the prices which can be manageable with the existence of local assembling units are not there. The buying power of the people of Oman is quite good and they never ask for this too.
Promotion- The promotion by way of advertisement in print and electronic media is obvious and at the same time the help of social media should be considered for better reach to the customers. The Facebook page with the Subaru vehicle can attract the people who feel interest in automotive industry. The regular advertisement in the form of big sign boards or flex in the proper attractive eye-catching place with the image of the premium vehicle along with a attractive catch line can make the job of promotion easier and above all, the role of the distributors can’t be denied whose active participation in promoting the vehicles of Subaru will make the company achieve their objective of increasing their market share by 1% by 2015 in GCC looks viable (Chandrashekaran, 2015). The other area is sponsorship of events which ahs social implication. The awareness program of a social event will always give the organization a self-boosting because the people of the country feel that the company thinks for the country too.
Distribution strategies- The distributors, with their sole responsibility sell the cars. They have good amount of margin for each transaction. So it is not worth to discuss about their interest. But the distribution strategy should be fixed in such a ways that the distributor should not overlap as far as distance is concerned, an ideal situation of offering the distributorship with the geographical distance of 100 kms is good for big countries, but in a small country like Oman with affluent customer base the distance from one distributor to other may be fixed by 50 kms. The distributors should be amply provided with the service facilities taken care by the service provider and the availability of spares would be available in need to keep the customer in comfort zone.
The implementation strategies of various steps are to be followed methodically after they are set and acknowledged by the management. Related to product, the benchmark objective of quality maintenance and control is to be followed as per the strategy fixed by Subaru. The price strategy is to be fixed as per the cost analysis and the expected profit margin from the turnover of the vehicles (Eden & Ackermann, 2013). The promotion strategy is to be fixed and implemented with the look of the demand of the society of the country and at the same time increasing the visibility by way of banners, flex, billboard and other media campaign. The distributions strategy to reach the customer easily must be motivated with the proper setup of distributor network within Oman and GCC.
Political-The political scenario of Oman is quite peaceful and the untoward hazards are not affecting this country. This type of stable country should be the ideal place for business of an organization. Even the recent improvement of ISIS is also not making any difference in the political situation of that country so this type of country is suitable for any organization to grow their business.
Economical- The economical situation is excellent due to its reserve of natural resources by way of oil and natural gas. The GDP of 78.11 billion (2012) can easily distinguish the status of the country so far economic power is concerned. The people are well off to afford the best quality of life style and owned vehicle is one of the most important features for that (Desai, 2013). The buying power is immense and the selection is the only criterion to have the luxury goods in possession.
Social- The social situation os cool with no untoward incident to disturb the social life of the country. Most of the citizens of Oman are of Muslim origin and the expatriates residing in Oman for the sake of job, does also peace love. The social status of Oman has put them in the place of 45th in peace keeping countries.
Technological- the technological background of Subaru is unquestionable with the `backup of best technological team of automotive industry deployed in Japan in the production unit of Subaru under the technical guidance of Fuji Heavy Industries. Toyota being the stake holder of 16.5% of Subaru always extends its technical support to the manufacturing unit with the support of best ancillary industries of automotive industry who are affiliated to Toyota. The evolution of latest technology by the research and development team of both Subaru and Toyota constantly work on the common mission to make the vehicles the best available in the market with their expertise and experience.
Strength- The brand Subaru is famous in US and China for their quality vehicles marketed and sees constant growth in different segment. Backed by the achievement of global existence, Subaru is intended to make their presence felt in the region of GCC and Africa. In GCC region, Oman is the prime target for Subaru due to its well affluent people and the quality of their life style. The market is open and the entry is made; only job left is to acquire a substantial market share to justify their presence in Oman.
Weakness- As the entire range of vehicles is imported for the factories of Subaru, the time lag is bit high as per the reordering level of inventory at the end of distributors. The time taken for delivery after booking is substantially high and the customer may lose interest, by the mean time, can go for other alternative.
Opportunities- The automotive market of Oman has sufficient scope for Subaru, as the target audience is fit for consuming the vehicles with the best of features provided with high power Boxer engines and rear wheel driving. The sports car, with its unique features, attracts the target audience of rich people to exhibit their ability to afford the same. Above all the presence of Subaru in one’s garage makes him special in the eyes of the neighbors and associates. That situation may be exploited by the proper planning, strategy and marketing skill to achieve the coveted place of automotive market of Oman.
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Threat- The threat normally comes from the competitors and the unmanageable situations occur due to some unplanned situation. The competitors never wish to lose their market share, instead with constant effort to remain the same, they will not leave an inch of the market share. That situation is to be taken care with proper strategy of servicing and proper replacement option of spares (Crittenden, Crittenden, & Ferrell, 2011). The threat for the unwanted situation like global recession can’t be avoided, but the plan to come out of the situation must be planned with plan A, plan B or plan C.
The recent case study of the existence of Subaru and its excellence through sale of their vehicles in Oman has been discussed. There are constraints which are discussed above. The minimal market share of Subaru vehicles in Oman, with the scope immense market potentiality, turns the parent company, Fuji Heavy Industries, to concentrate in this market with the vision of steady growth and market presence of Subaru vehicles in the market of GCC, especially Oman. The trend of vehicle business is well known to the management of Fuji Heavy Industries and they import cars from Japan of the category or segment which is well adored by the people of Oman. The SUVs, sedans and sports cars will generate true demand in the market as per the taste of the people of Oman. The problem of supply chain should be taken care with priority with the reordering level of inventory should be well derived as per the trend of the market and the same should be properly executed with the minimum no of vehicles to be maintained in the stores. The steady supply line will make hell of difference with the competitors. If the vehicle ordered be supplied by a stipulated time, the reputation of Subaru will go high with the quality of steady supply chain. The other areas are service which are been taken care of by OTE group and the supply chain of spares are to be maintained to make the market steady and keep the customers happy.
With the thrust and plan for development of Oman market for Subaru vehicles, the sales are expected to grow steadily. The Vice President is foreseeing the growth of 1% from 2010 to 2015 by value to reach the targeted sales and be one of the recognized players in the area of sedan, SUV and sports care segment. The proper application of strategy so far the marketing skill, the supply chain management and the steady supply of spares along with regular provision of service will make the dream comes true. The marketing skill to convince the buyer that Subaru vehicle is best of the lot available in the market is possible when the man behind the operation believes that form core of his heart. The other factors like the lack of proper supply chain of competitors can’t be denied. It is to be kept in mind that the buyer of vehicles are not impulse buyers, instead they are loyal buyers to the brand. So switch over of bran is not easy, but once it is done convincingly, the result will come automatically with no extra efforts required.
The budget of sales and other overhead costs related to sales of vehicles made in Oman are to be fixed judicially without any hidden factors not considered. The budget of sales should be done with a increasing trend, but looking in toe effect of actual turnover of past with the trend of growth. A good budget can assist the organization to set its strategies in different areas of operations with reality. On the other hand a wrong budget can put the organization in dilemma with the result of holding high stock or no stock, and high overhead and lesser profit. In the case of Subaru, as the vehicles are to be imported from Japan, the cost of transportation is also a substantial factor which is to be considered while budgeting for the next financial period. The professional team of management of Subaru will not take any wrong step and will sail the ship of success from Japan to Oman by the strategic move and success will be just not far away.
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