Modelling German Female Customers' Car Purchase Decision Making: An Application of the Theory of Planned Behaviour

  • Adam Kobielski

    Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


    Today’s society is within a lasting process where old structures and task division into groups are changing constantly. One part of the process is the fact that female customers are becoming more independent and self-reliable and therefore their importance within product decision processes increases. However within car purchase processes still female customers only seldom are addressed well-aimed by car manufacturers (Bay, 2012).

    This thesis aims to develop a model of German female customers’ car decision making process. This model includes variables and indicators which are important to women within their car decision making process in order to offer opportunities to car manufacturers to optimise and refine their ways of addressing women within the car choice process. As a result, also concrete
    suggestions to optimise marketing measures as a car configurator are presented.

    In doing so, in a first step a review of different areas of literature which are relevant to the female car choice decision making process was presented. These areas of literature were gender research, purchase, search of information and car usage. As a result different variables and beliefs could be presented
    which have to be taken into account within modelling of the female car choice process.

    The choice of the Theory of Planned Behaviour (TPB) as basis of the conceptual research model results from a review of existing expectancy theories. In the following, TPB was used as foundation of the research methodology.

    The study of the present research was divided into two parts resulting in a mixed-methods survey approach. Within the first part, a qualitative approach using interviews was conducted in order to underpin the choice of the present research’s conceptual model’s indicators. In a second part, a quantitative approach using a structured questionnaire was utilised.

    The application of Structural Equation Modelling (SEM) enabled the modelling of key influencers on the female car decision making process. The Confirmatory Factor Analysis (CFA) was utilised in working out a comparison between a model which resulted from an Exploratory Factor Analysis (EFA) and the
    conceptual research model. As a result, the conceptual research model revealed to be more appropriate to model female customers’ car choice process. Therefore, the TPB was found to be an effective method for the determination of influencers on the female car decision making process. The latent variable attitude was found to be the key influencer on female customers’
    intention to choose a car but also the latent variables subjective norm and perceived behavioural control could be determined as significant influencers.

    Important and not important indicators within the female car choice decision making process were determined. Important indicators were car characteristics as upholstery, environmental friendliness and attractive styling. The participants’ age and income had a significant influence on their stated car choice behavior.

    The research is concluded with an explanation of the present research’s contribution to knowledge and to practice including implications for marketing professionals. Additionally, limitations of the present research and opportunities for further research are presented.
    Date of Award15 Aug 2016
    Original languageEnglish
    SupervisorEoin Plant (Supervisor) & Paula Stephens (Supervisor)


    • automobile industry
    • car configuration
    • gender research
    • factor analysis

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