Page 4: The UK market
Skoda has already made substantial advances in the UK and it is expected that this trend will gain increasing momentum now that consumers’ perceptions have started to change. With the launch of new products on the UK market, Skoda has engaged in extensive research to find out how perceptions of Skoda are changing in the mid-1990s. For example, research into the Felicia has shown that consumers see it as:
- An attractive car
- Having a spacious interior
- Well specified
- Having high quality interior upholstery.
All of which make it an acceptable product. The Felicia meets the requirements and expectations of a car in the small car sector in terms of styling and modern looks. In terms of specification, it is seen as an average car which is well equipped. It meets buyers’ needs through its interior and boot space. The quality of its build is regarded as acceptable and buyers are pleased with its performance in cruising, the ride it gives and in handling.
Where the Felicia exceeds the expectations of a small car is that it is seen as a “big” small car, with an attractive level of interior finish and upholstery. Consumers are pleased with its level of comfort and specific features, such as central locking, immobiliser and its five gears. However, criticisms are that it does not have power steering, it is not innovative enough in design and does not have alloy wheels as standard. On balance the car is seen positioned as:
- A “big” small car within the small car sector
- An average person’s car
- A family car
- For old and young people
- An all purpose car.
The research shows that, in terms of public perceptions, the Felicia elevates the Skoda image and presents evidence of an improving marque which builds cars as good as any other in that sector.