The concept of marketing is very pertinent to any business, especially when introducing a new product/version into the market. The process encompasses comprehending and meeting the needs of the target customers. The aim of this paper is to develop a marketing plan for the Nissan Patrol Desert Edition through a theoretical and analytical approach. The reason for choosing the Nissan Patrol Desert Edition is that it is a relatively new version that has been introduced into the market.
Thus, the company needs to develop a marketing strategy to entice its loyal customers while at the same time attracting a new wave of clientele.
The research will include an in-depth analysis of the context and environment where the company operates, product overview, social responsibility and marketing ethics issues, core target factors, critical success factors, and the company’s position and intended market perception for its Nissan Patrol Desert Edition. The limitation of this assignment will be in identifying its strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats during company’s SWOT analysis.
Analysis of the Context and Environment in which Nissan Operates
The government of the UAE has managed to control and maintain low oil prices. As a result, it has positively influenced the buying trends for the Nissan Patrol Desert Edition and other brands. An increase in the profit margins for the new version will allow the company to reduce the pricing of the car, reduce its debts, and even scale up its operations as part of its corporate objectives (Tischler 2002).
The liberal trade policy of the UAE such as low tariffs and few non-tariff trade barriers allow the company to have almost unlimited access to the region. This situation has had a positive influence on the company by allowing it to price the Nissan Patrol Desert Edition at an affordable rate for customers (Hoekman 1995).
An increase in interest rates will negatively affect the sales of the Nissan Patrol Desert Edition due to the corresponding increase in the cost of servicing loans. Moreover, the increase will discourage spending while at the same time encouraging a savings habit by people who wish to benefit from the high rates from banks. Ultimately, the decrease in spending will reduce sales of the Nissan Patrol Desert Edition (Macdonald 1999).
Unemployment will be another major concern for the company, as it implies a reduction in disposable income of the target, which in turn reflects a negative move in its product sales. Moreover, Macdonald (1999) believes that unemployment increases the amount the government will have to spend on social welfare. This increase in government spending is compensated through increasing taxation on companies and/or products.
An increase in disposable income will have a positive impact on the product sales since consumers will have an extra income to buy the vehicle, which is essentially considered a luxury. A large proportion of a young population will have a positive impact on the company’s sales compared to the case of having a larger proportion of elderly people in the UAE. Luckily, statistical findings indicate that a majority of the region’s population lies between the age of 15 and 64, which is the company’s target market (Statistica 2016).
Pressure from the market continues to increase for the Nissan Company to come up with new products that have incorporated the aspect of improvement in terms of performance, reliability, and safety. This situation has prompted the company to formulate its power 88 strategy whose goal is to introduce a new product every six weeks for the next six years in an effort to stay ahead of the market.
For instance, the Nissan Patrol Desert Edition introduces a better Hydraulic Body Motion Control System that keeps the new version more stable when negotiating corners (Nissan 2012). With the increase in awareness on global warming, governments and individuals are beginning to demand the innovation of eco-friendly and/hybrid products. For instance, the Nissan Patrol Desert Edition has a reduced smoke emission in comparison with its predecessor.
The UAE government has laid out stringent laws and regulations on consumer protection. It requires the company to have a solid warranty plan to ensure that the Nissan Patrol Desert Edition is safe for use in the region. In addition, the company is expected to comply with all the taxes payable in accordance with the law.
Company and Product overview
History, Products, and Mission/Vision Statement
Nissan Company was established in Yokohama City in 1993. Currently, it runs operations in 20 countries, including Japan. Among the company’s product portfolio are brands such as Nissan, Infiniti, Datsun, Heritage, and Mortorsports. The company records an average annual production of 2 million units.
This figure represents 4.9% of the global car market. The company’s mission/vision is to provide innovative and unique automotive products in line with supporting its vision of satisfying all its stakeholders through an alliance with Renault (Nissan Motor Co. 2015).
Performance from a Financial Perspective
Since 2010, the Nissan Company has had a steady increase in the global sales with the exception of drops in 2013 and 2015. The net sales dropped from 12.4 billion Yen in 2014 to 11.4 billion Yen. Nevertheless, despite the sales revenue drop, the company managed to maintain its net income at a level of 457 billion Yen (Nissan Motor Co. 2016).
Performance from a Marketing Perspective
In 2015, the company claimed 15.9 percent of the UAE’s car market, 8.5 percent in the US, 8.5 percent in China, and 25.8 percent in Mexico. These results placed the automaker among the top ten in terms of market share. It attributed the success to its aggressive global marketing strategy (Emirates 2016).
Current Marketing Goals
The company’s marketing goal is to remain focused on the consumer by ensuring that the current market needs are well understood and met. The goal includes understanding aspects such as affordability, comfort, and purchasing power. Moreover, the company’s primary target remains the low-level consumer market, which constitutes a large portion of the global population (Nissan Motor Co. 2016).
The company’s goal is to establish a strong position in the competitive automotive industry where it will continuously produce new products that are reliable, affordable, and appealing to customers (Nissan Motor Co. 2016).
Current Marketing Objectives
The company aims at boosting its share in the global market to 8 percent in the next six years. This goal will be achieved through the company’s commitment to producing a new vehicle every 6 weeks in an effort to draw consumers by wooing them from its competitors (Reuters 2011).
Social Responsibility and Marketing Ethics Issues
The Nissan Company’s commitment to reducing the cost of manufacturing its brands has allowed it to competitively price the Nissan Patrol Desert Edition at a lower price of $69,430 compared to its competitors to foster its profitability goal (Nair 2015).
The Nissan Patrol Desert Edition comes with a company warranty once the consumer buys the car directly from the company or through its authorized dealers. The car also comes with an installed safety system that protects the driver from fatal injury in compliance with the consumer protection laws of the UAE (Nissan 2012).
The model’s safety system complies with the consumer protection regulations of the UAE. The company also ensures that it prices its product on a level that is affordable in its target market without compromising its product quality (Nissan 2012).
The company has devised a sustainable approach to philanthropy through encouraging the spirit of voluntarism from its employees by contributing to charitable organizations and cooperating with regional NGOs (Nissan 2012).
Core Target Profile
The product’s innovation was motivated by the company’s large market demand in the Middle East and the UAE, particularly for customers who were in need of an ultimate off-road SUV for driving in the rugged desert terrains. The company improved the performance of the vehicle through installing a powerful high performance engine.
For such customers who are concerned about their safety needs, the car comes installed with an automated safety system, including underbody protection and bead-lock wheels that allow the tyres to be usable at low pressures without the risk of coming off (Basit 2015).
The Toyota Motor Corporation is an auto-company that is based in Japan operating under segments such as automotive operations and financial services among others. The company is considered one of the most valuable brands with a market capitalization of $239 billion.
The company has managed to establish a strong position in the global consumer market. Its brands, namely Toyota and Lexus, enjoy a large share in the market with 45.5% in Japan, 12.2% in the US, 13.4% in Asia, and a significant market share in Africa, South America, and the Middle East regions. Toyota’s strong market position has allowed it to continue enjoying high sales and profitability. It continues to expand to untapped territories. Nevertheless, its established brand has empowered its marketing capabilities globally.
Besides, the Jaguar Land Rover Company is considered the largest auto company in Britain with investments in research, development, and engineering. The company is regarded as a global leader in the manufacture of SUVs. It poses intense competition to other SUV makers such as Nissan and Toyota. The company has continued to grow with sales growth of 19 percent in Europe, 18 percent in the UK, and 14 percent in North America (Jaguarlandrover 2015).
Critical Success Factors
Nissan Patrol was among the first 4-wheel drive SUVs to enter the MENA/UAE region where it earned the name, “King of the Desert”. The strong position in the market is a reputation that has been attributed to the car’s impressive performance. Moreover, its users describe the product as unbreakable, affordable, and reliable. Therefore, with the newly improved version, the company is optimistic that it will entice its loyal customers while attracting a new generation of consumers in the region (Nissan 2012).
Besides, Nissan Patrol Desert Edition has managed to maintain its loyal breed of customers over the years due to the company’s dedication to continued improvement of the car’s performance and luxury packages (Nissan 2012). Due to the UAE/MENA market demands for a SUV that can withstand the harsh conditions of the desert, the company has committed itself through its innovative team design, craft and test to fine-tune the new Nissan Patrol Desert Edition to suit its use for the region.
In 2013, the company recalled 25,000 of the products in Australia after it identified an accelerator fault that it claimed would result in loss of power and hence pose danger to occupants and road users. Such recalls have affected its product image by resulting in reduced sales in the affected regions (Nicholson 2013).
After the reverse of the recession in 2010, the automobile industry has experienced a tremendous growth globally and in the Emirates region. The 6.6 percent growth in 2014 was attributed to the improvement of the UAE’s economy, the increased vehicle financing, and the augmented spending by individual households. Through exploiting its strong market position, the company can utilize the increased vehicle loan financing to market its product to potential new owners (Emirates NBD 2015).
In an effort to encourage the importation of products, the UAE government has committed itself to eliminating most tariffs. This move has had a positive effect for the company by allowing it to price its product fairly to increase its sales. Part of the company’s market position is the affordability of its products compared to its competitors. Therefore, the company can exploit this opportunity by reducing further its product price that would attract new customers (Hoekman 1995).
The company faces stiff competition from other market players such as Toyota and Land Rover that produce similar prototypes of the Nissan Patrol Desert Edition. The competitors have a negative effect on the company’s market share. To stay ahead of its competitors, the company devised the ambitious power 88 strategy, which aims at producing a new product every one and half months to attain an 8% market share by 2017.
This strategy is unattainable, owing to the reduction in the company’s sales in 2015 (Harner 2013). The increased cost of raw materials may potentially raise the price for the Nissan Patrol Desert Edition, thus threatening to cause a reduction in the car sales (Jurevicius 2013).
Increased demand for hybrid products poses a major challenge for the company in terms of marketing the Nissan Patrol Desert Edition to consumers who desire to purchase hybrid/eco-friendly vehicles. Therefore, the company should embark on an innovative strategy to develop a hybrid version of the Desert Edition to meet the needs of this market.
Product’s Intended and Actual Position in the Market
The Nissan Patrol Desert Edition is perceived to raise the expectation of the company’s loyal customers and entice a new breed of clients due its high performance, reliability, safety, un-breakability, affordability, and comfort (Nissan 2013).
The Nissan Patrol Desert Edition has been acknowledged by both its critics and supporters as a high performance SUV that is suitable for the desert terrain. The high performance has been attributed to its 5.6 liter V8 400 horsepower engine. As a result, the car has been regarded as suitable for use in the tarmac and sandy terrain (Warrior 2016). However, some critics have regarded the Nissan Patrol Desert Edition as a standard performance vehicle with no significant modifications from its predecessor.
Nevertheless, both critics agree that the product comes with a safety skid plates at the rear and back side to protect the driver from excessive injury in case of an accident (Smuts 2016). In terms of affordability, the Desert Edition is cheaper compared to Range Rover and Toyota Land Cruiser prices at 90,000 and 80,000 USD respectively.
The Nissan Patrol Desert Edition is a high-performance SUV produced by the Nissan Company. The car is specifically designed for the rugged desert terrain in the UAE/MENA region. The company is affected by political, economic, social, legal, and technological factors each of which has its unique trends that collectively affect its overall marketing strategy.
The company commands a large market share both globally and in the UAE/MENA region compared to its major competitors, including Land Rover and Toyota. The company’s SWOT analysis reveals strengths such as strong market position while also revealing weaknesses such as product recalls. The company has managed to position its product as reliable, high performance, safe, and affordable.
Basit, A 2015, Nissan Patrol Desert edition makes global debut – Khaleej Times, <http://www.khaleejtimes.com/business/auto/nissan-patrol-desert-edition-makes-global-debut>.
Emirates 2016, UAE among top 10 markets for Japan’s Nissan in 2015, <http://www.emirates247.com/business/economy-finance/uae-among-top-10-markets-for-japan-s-nissan-in-2015-2016-02-04-1.619877>.
Emirates NBD, 2015, UAE’s automotive sector overview, <https://www.emiratesnbd.com/plugins/ResearchDocsManagement/Documents/Research/Emirates%20NBD%20Research%20UAE’s%20Automotive%20Sector%20Overview%204%20February%202015.pdf>.
Harner, S 2013, Forbes Welcome, <http://www.forbes.com/sites/stephenharner/2013/11/18/is-nissan-losing-its-soul-under-carlos-ghosn/#1c376496af44>.
Hoekman, B 1995, The World Trade Organization, the European Union, and the Arab World: Trade Policy Priorities and Pitfalls, World Bank Publications, London.
Jaguarlandrover 2015, Jaguar Land Rover Reports August Sales Performance | Jaguar Land Rover Corporate Website, <http://www.jaguarlandrover.com/gl/en/investor-relations/news/2015/09/09/jaguar-land-rover-reports-august-sales-performance/>.
Jurevicius, O 2013, Nissan SWOT analysis 2013 | Strategic Management Insight, <https://www.strategicmanagementinsight.com/swot-analyses/nissan-swot-analysis.html>.
Macdonald, N 1999, Macroeconomics and business, International Thomson Business Press, London.
Nair, M 2015, A limited edition Nissan just for this region, <http://gulfnews.com/business/sectors/automotives/a-limited-edition-nissan-just-for-this-region-1.1617411>.
Nicholson, T 2013, Recall round-up, <http://www.goauto.com.au/mellor/mellor.nsf/story2/8AC2CE6ACADD1C44CA257BF6002B684A>.
Nissan 2012, Nissan’s Sustainability Report, <http://www.nissan-global.com/EN/DOCUMENT/PDF/SR/2012/SR12_E_P069.pdf>.
Nissan Motor Co. 2015, Annual Report, <http://www.nissan-global.com/EN/DOCUMENT/PDF/AR/2015/AR15_E_All.pdf>.
Nissan Motor Co. 2016, Nissan | Corporate Information | Message/Vision | Vision & Mission, <http://www.nissan-global.com/EN/COMPANY/MESSAGE/VISION/>.
Reuters 2011, Nissan targets 8 percent market share, margin in 6 years, <http://www.reuters.com/article/us-nissan-plan-idUSTRE75Q0OI20110627>.
Smuts, S 2016, Nissan Patrol ‘Desert Edition’. REVIEW – crankandpiston.com, <http://www.crankandpiston.com/car-review/nissan-patrol-desert-edition-review/>.
Statistica 2016, United Arab Emirates – age structure 2014 | Statistica, <http://www.statista.com/statistics/297597/uae-age-structure/>.
Macdonald, T 1999, Macroeconomics and business, International Thomson Business Press, London.
Tischler, L 2002, Nissan Motor Co, <http://www.fastcompany.com/45177/nissan-motor-co>.
Warrior, R 2016, Automan test of the Nissan Patrol Desert Edition – Automan Magazine, <https://automan.me/am/reviews/2016/01/automan-test-of-the-nissan-patrol-desert-edition.html>.
Appendix 1: Table showing macro-environmental Forces
|Dimension||Weight of Dimension||Trend||Rank of Trend in Percentage|
|Increased Demand for Eco-friendly vehicles||20|
|Payment of taxes||60|
Appendix 2: Pyramid for Corporate Social Responsibility
Appendix 3: Critical Success Factors
Appendix 4: Positioning and Perceptual maps