From the data analysis, it may be deduced that people are still uncertain as to whether they should adopt hybrid vehicles. Some recommendations have been proposed below to try remediate the latter predicament.
6.1.1 Factors influencing purchase of hybrid
Though customers agree it is fair to pay more money for environmentally friendly cars, it may not be affordable for everyone to do so. Generally, Mauritians are very watchful when it comes to spending. People find that the considerable additional investment they have to make on the initial cost of a hybrid car is not profitable in the short run and only benefits after several thousands of kilometers driven. One possible solution would be for Toyota to work towards bridging the gap between the price of hybrid and other standard cars. As evidence through the data collection, a considerable segment of potential motor vehicle buyers find hybrid cars efficient but not aesthetically as appealing as other non-hybrid models. A car with an appealing design will attract more people, as interior and exterior designs weigh much in any car buyer's decision. The young population might prefer to have a Prius with a sporty design and other customization options rather than a standard one. It is certainly recommendable that Toyota works on the design on the Prius and reach a result which would satisfy its consumer expectations. Moreover, though automatic gear has become a 'fashion', many people still want to have a 5- speed manual gear which is currently not available in any Prius model. Automatic gear leads to slower acceleration which can be a problem when people need more response from the engine, especially when merging onto busy highways. Thus, Toyota must work on adding on the manual gear specification to its Prius. Furthermore, the Prius must accommodate for safety measures. Since it is a small and lightweight car, it is more risky and more exposed to accidents and also hybrids use high voltage battery which can be dangerous during an accident if the battery wires become exposed. Therefore, preventive actions must be forecasted in case of accidents.
6.1.2 Selecting correct and appropriate car models for Mauritius
Before deciding to put a car on our roads, Toyota must analyse the specific demand and needs of the Mauritian population. Researches conducted for this thesis revealed that, due to a lack of consideration for the local market, Toyota is unable to satisfy its customer's requirements, and knowing the taste and demand of customers will help Toyota achieve a higher level of sales. People find that the Corolla remains the most reliable and bestselling car in the world but Corolla competitors such as Kia Optima, Hyundai Elantra, Honda Civic, Mitsubishi Lancer (EX) and Nissan Sylphy are providing more and better options at a better price. This will allow Corolla customers to shift to competitors products. In order to retain its leading position on the local market, other models should be introduced in Mauritius; the Auris hybrid, which is sold at a considerably lower price, would fit well in the segment where people cannot afford a Prius. The main reason why Toyota Auris hybrid is currently not brought in Mauritius is because of the Toyota Yaris/Vitz which are very popular, and introducing a new model will only spread rather than increase demand. Since Mauritius is a small country and since congestion is constantly increasing on our roads, the Auris also known as 'Blade' in Japan, should be introduced since it is an upscale car which can compete with Mercedes B class segment, meaning the luxurious small car segment. Speaking of upper segment, there are cars that Toyota do not even think about namely the new Allion/Premio. The Toyota Allion/Premio is very worthwhile to bring in since it comes in many engine choices to suit different tastes. Toyota Allion comes with aero kit which would definitely appeal the youth. Instead of the Toyota Camry, the Mark X would do a better job at a higher end. The Toyota Mark X being a very beautiful car, more economical as well as larger than the Camry, will be a very good competitor to steal some niche among the Honda Accord, Mercedes C class, and BMW 3 series segment. Higher up again, the Toyota Crown can give a good 'replique' to the BMW series 5/7 and Mercedes E class. After all Mauritians car buyers are no less than buyers from other larger countries. A non-negligible segment of small car buyers are women, they are more keen to comfort rather than control, and that is why the CVT Version of the Yaris should be brought in Mauritius. That would be smooth and economical while being an automatic. Compared to Toyota, Peugeot is already selling the 107, a small car which has proved to be desirable in Mauritius. The Peugeot 107 is similar to the Toyota Aygo, and the latter would ultimately be a reasonable consideration for potential buyers.
6.1.3 Marketing Campaigns
To introduce new cars a very good advertising team must be built up, which will focus specifically on the needs of local potential customers. It can be said that advertising has been used in quite a limited way so far; recently, in a Toyota Corolla Ad, not enough emphasis was put on the product, the car could not even be seen properly and it was such a waste of space as the car was too small. Toyota should identify the best medium of communication through which they can reach their customer. Specific message of information should be developed as the majority of the customer will retain information that matches their own interest. If Toyota can understand their consumers' attitudes, tastes, preferences and perception towards its cars, it will be able to design more effective marketing strategies to reach the right customers and gain further competitive advantage. Toyota will then be in a position to build long lasting relationship with its customers. The company can target young professionals or the workers who are nearly retiring and provide them with initiatives to influence them to buy their cars. Knowing the types and size of vehicles that the customers like, Toyota can import the cars which meet the requirements of the different age groups. It is worth noting that Toyota does not advertise its brand unless a new model comes on the market. It is however recommended that the company uses advertising more as a medium to communicate with its target market, for instance by running more reminder advertisements to keep current customers thinking about the brand. The company must also stage more high profile events which match the prestigious image of the brand and corporate clients to participate and consequently create awareness and exposure among the brand's target of affluent customers.
6.1.4 Improving Customer Service
The customer care thing is something Toyota Mauritius needs to work on. As soon as some potential customer walks in their showroom there is nobody to attend. A person visiting the showroom must feel at ease and greeted warmly, this will inspire confidence in the customer and help his decision making. As per the study it has been seen that customers seek less information from sales person before purchase, I believe the sales people need to work on their knowledge, as well as their approach, regarding the product they are selling. If the sales persons do not possess the required skills, Toyota should provide training and empower the staffs so that they can deliver the expected services. Training of personnel should be a constant process that ensures that staff are good performers and are delivering quality, reliable and exact information. Simultaneously, personnel should possess qualities like empathy, smile, greetings and the like. The staffs of Toyota are widely criticized and many mentioned that they should be more polite and express a more friendly approach. To reduce these negative encounters, management should recruit more competent staff and train them on the appropriate skills required.
Staff from top management to lower level management should conduct regular meetings and discussions in order to probe areas that need improvements. The most important members should receive training on different aspects particularly on how to resolve the customers' query and problems. Customers want rapid and precise information and the personnel should accordingly respond rapidly. There is no doubt that such an involvement will help project a favorable image of the organisation.
As seen in this thesis, the environmental issues have become a real preoccupation for the society. One of the greatest steps our society has taken in solving these issues has come from the introduction and acceptance of hybrid vehicles. More and more automobile manufacturers are developing a green marketing strategy and becoming environmentally friendly with the development hybrid that can significantly reduce the amount of toxins released into the air every day.
However, Toyota still have a long way to go in the development and marketing of hybrid vehicles as still a majority of consumers have not made the switch. It is our belief that as technology improves, prices decrease, and with a wider variety of environmentally friendly vehicles available, more and more consumers will begin to see the tremendous benefits associated with owning one and the total market saturation will greatly increase. As a result, the consumer will be better off by saving on gas and our environment will significantly improve from the subsequent reduced gas emissions.