Heart of Darkness

Introduction Definition Luxury cars go beyond average, conventional cars in the sense that they provide way more than basic necessities. Luxury cars have more comfortable, spacious seats made from better materials like leather, have more tools and equipment than what is needed for the car to run, e. g. , has power steering, GPS, etc. , has a better performance in a sense that they go further and faster than normal cars. The cars are also constructed with more creative and elegant designs that carry their brand image and the level of prestige associated with such cars. Luxury Car Brands in Singapore.

The luxury car brands in Singapore are: Audi, Mercedes-Benz, Bayerische Motoren Werke (BMW), Lexus, Porche, Infiniti, Maserati, Alpha Romeo, Land Rover, Jaguar, Mini, Chrysler, Jeep, and Volvo. Target Market Luxury car brands are targeting the rich, upper class in Singapore. Seeing as how a luxury car costs on average $33,709 (Mercedes-Benz), $35,542 (Lexus), $51,008 (Land Rover), etc. , all prices excluding Certificate of Entitlement (COE) (at $62,301 as of May 2013), road taxes ($2386/annum for a 3,000cc car), additional registration fee (ARF), and running costs like petrol, Electronic Road Pricing (ERP) and parking fees.

This will amount to around $154,115. 40 just to buy a Land Rover LR4 (the lowest-priced midsize luxury SUV from the brand), not factoring in running costs. Environmental Scan Social 1. New Certificate of Entitlement (COE) System The government has set the growth rate of vehicles at 0. 5%. No matter the ARF, or taxes implemented by the system, it does not affect the number of cars on the road. The only thing it affects is the total amount needed to own a car. This system has brought the COE price down, but increased the ARF and amount of taxes payable.

According to TREmeritus, 2013, this results in “distributors of cars in [the] luxury segment will be badly hit while the lower end segment will see bumper sales. ” Technology 1. Auto Braking System According to VolvoOwnersClub, 2007, the auto braking system is a “refined warning system that makes the car brake by itself if the driver doesn’t act when a rear-end collision with a moving or stationary vehicle is imminent. ” The first system was introduced in the Volvo S80, which combines radar and camera to detect any cars within 150m in front and 55m behind your car.

This system has already been implemented in brands like Volvo, Audi, BMW, Lexus, Chrysler, etc. , and has helped to “cut down on the number of car crashes” according to USAToday, 2011. 2. Cruise Control Cruise Control is a system that enables drivers to set the speed of the car and then allow the car to constantly accelerate at that speed without having to press down on the accelerator. This caters to drivers who find driving a chore, though it is more suited to long, more empty roads than congested ones.

As Singapore roads are mainly crowded and short, owners of luxury cars do not use this function often, lest on expressways during off-peak hours. Then again, the roads are usually only a few minutes long and there is a lot of stop-traffic. Economy 1. Global Luxury Car Crisis There was a recent “double-dip recession” around the world, meaning there was little or no recovery from the previous financial crises. This resulted in luxury carmakers such as BMW and Mercedes-Benz taking a big hit, according to Examiner, 2012.

The hardest hit markets were Europe and USA, with China, Asia and Russia still making sales, but not huge profits. The luxury car market is now not making profits and seeing decline. This could make luxury cars more affordable for the affluent in Singapore. Environmental 1. Asphalt Dangers Asphalt found in luxury car models like “Audi’s A6 and Q5 models, Mercedes-Benz C-Class and E-Class, and BMW 3-Series and 5-Series” could cause cancer, according to ShanghaiDaily, 2013. Owners of such cars made in China have been experiencing health issues, and this could be a deterrent to people looking to buy these models of cars.

Political 1. New Loan Laws According to Yahoo! News, 2013, “buying a car now requires a down payment of 40% to 50% of the car purchase price in cash, including relevant taxes and the COE. ” The loan period has also been halved to 5 years from the previous 10. More salt to the wound includes the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) restricting car buyers to loaning no more than 60% of the car price. This could result in lesser people having the capabilities to afford luxury cars. 2. Carbon Emissions-Based Vehicles Scheme (CEVS).

Starting on 1 January 2013, “cars with high carbon emissions equal to or more than 211g CO2/km, will incur a corresponding registration surcharge between $5,000 and $20,000”, according to LandTransportAuthority (LTA), 2012. On the flipside, cars with “low carbon emissions of less than or equal to 160g CO2/km, will qualify for rebates of between $5,000 and $20,000” according to LandTransportAuthotiry (LTA), 2012. This new law has impacted many luxury brands. For example, the Lexus LS 600h will now incur a $5,000 surcharge to register because it emits 219g CO2/km.

Porche has also been affected. According to AsiaOne, 2013, from late 2010 to 2012, Porche’s agent Stuttgart Auto sold “close to 100 Cayenne and Panamera hybrids”, but in January, 2013, none were registered. Porche will now only import the car when there is an order for it. Perceptual Map My two axes are based on safety and performance. According to a survey conducted to see the “Positioning of Luxury Vehicle Brands in the Pietermaritzburg Area”, the top six attributes that people looked out for were “safety, reliability, comfort, performance, aesthetics and service.

” I focused on safety and performance, as those are more tangible aspects to measure than aesthetics, because it can be subjective to personal tastes. Brand Idea – Infiniti Infiniti is the luxury arm of Nissan. It first arrived in Singapore in the fourth quarter of 2011, under Wearnes Automotives. According to Mr Saito, CEO of Infiniti, they aim to target “younger people who are not loyal to the established brands,” though their marketing strategy is unclear.

Infiniti claims to want to capture a “10% share” of the luxury car market “in the long term”, and aims to do so by building cars with the latest technology like cruise control, blind spot detection, reserve cameras etc. They currently have 4 models in Singapore – Infiniti M, Infiniti M Hybrid, Infiniti FX and Infiniti G Convertible. Their flagship showroom is located next to the Lexus one at Queenstown. Currently, apart from a short promotional video screened at cinemas before movies played, (which is unavailable on other media), Infiniti does not have any other advertisements or marketing campaigns in Singapore, and is relatively unknown.

Ideas 1. Play more advertisements on Television and Radio The most important thing for Infiniti now is to establish itself and gain recognition in Singapore. To do so, I would recommend playing existing Infiniti advertisements on prime time television slots on Channel 5, 8, Suria, and Vasantham, and also have radio advertisements at the top of the hour on 987 FM, KISS 92 FM, Class 95 FM, Hot 91. 3 FM for a period of at least 2 months. 2. Bring in more “green” models Models such as the Infiniti Q50 have 115 CO2/km, which would exempt it from the surcharges incurred by the new law.

Bringing in more models would provide a larger range of cars for consumers to choose from, plus the exception from the tax could provide a further incentive. 3. Infiniti cars manufactured outside China Infiniti cars are mainly made in Europe, with some models made in USA. This point should be integrated into their advertisements as this means that Infiniti cars do not pose any asphalt dangers. Those conscious of their health will see this as a plus point. List of References The Free Dictionary, 2013, BMW [online] Available from: http://acronyms.thefreedictionary. com/BMW [Acessed 18 May 2013]

Radhika Verma, 2010, The Definition of Luxury Cars [online] Available from: http://ezinearticles. com/? The-Definition-of-Luxury-Cars&id=3979663 [Accessed 18 May 2013] Joann Muller, 2010, The Most Expensive Luxury Cars to Own [online] Available from: http://www. forbes. com/2010/10/20/bmw-mercedes-lexus-business-autos-expensive-luxury-cars. html [Accessed 18 May 2013] One Motoring, 2005, Enquire Road Tax Payable [online] Available from: https://vrl. lta. gov. sg/lta/vrl/action/pubfunc?

ID=EnquireRoadTaxByEngCap [Accessed 18 May 2013] Land Transport Authority, 2013, COE Open Bidding [online] Available from: http://www. onemotoring. com. sg/1m/coe/coeDetail. html [Accessed 18 Mary 2013] Wiki Temasek, 2013, New COE Rules: Putting the Noose at the Wrong Group [online] Available from: http://wikitemasek. org/new-coe-rules-putting-the-noose-at-the-wrong-group/ [Accessed 18 May 2013] The Volvo Owners Club, 2007, New Collision Warning with Auto-Brake Helps Prevent Rear-End Collisions [online]

Available from: http://www. volvoclub. org. uk/press/releases/2007/collision_warning.shtml [Accessed 18 May 2013] Jane O’Donnell, USA Today, 2011, Automatic Braking in Cars Helps Cut Down on Crashes [online] Available from: http://usatoday30. usatoday. com/tech/news/2011-07-18-self-braking-cars_n. htm [Accessed 18 May 2013] BalaGT, 2011, What is Cruise Control? [online] Available from: http://cars. sulekha. com/what-is-cruise-control_tips-advice_68 [Accessed 18 May 2013] BenCee, 2011, Cruise Control – Are They Really Necessary in Singapore? [online] Available from: http://www. mycarforum. com/blog/myautoblog/1373/cruise-control—are-they-really-necessary-in-singapore/ [Accessed 18 May 2013].

Cars.com, 2013, Top 10 Features Drivers Don’t Need [online] Available from: http://blogs. cars. com/kickingtires/2013/02/top-10-features-drivers-dont-need. html [Accessed 18 May 2013] Land Transport Authority, 2012, New Carbon Emissions-Based Vehicles Scheme (CEVS) from 1 January 2013 [online] Available from: http://app. lta. gov. sg/apps/news/page. aspx? c=2&id=89ik82edclld4440jkx9761veiy5lgzhpgg3aq345d4p7ca5di [Accessed 18 May 2013]

Shanghai Daily, 2013, Asphalt Danger in Luxury Vehicles [online] Available from: http://www. china. org.cn/business/2013-03/20/content_28300825. htm [Accessed 18 May 2013] TR Emeritus, 2013, The COE System is Fundamentally Flawed [online] Available from: http://www. tremeritus. com/2013/02/28/the-coe-system-is-fundamentally-flawed/ [Accessed 18 May 2013] Examiner. com, 2012, Global Luxury Car Crises [online] Available from: http://www. examiner. com/article/global-luxury-car-crisis [Accessed 18 May 2013] Volvo’s Logo, Google Images [online]

Available from: http://4. bp. blogspot. com/-OQ-66rZ6lWY/UR4yqtHaoNI/AAAAAAAAGpg/CP_r-Il9yRk/s1600/volvo_logo_voiture.jpg [Accessed 18 May 2013] Jeep’s Logo, Google Images [online] Available from: http://3. bp. blogspot. com/-yAzHVMDBgbc/USdPjIRhVhI/AAAAAAAAB-4/wfhZ5bvOY9A/s1600/download-Jeep-logo1. jpg.

[Accessed 18 May 2013] Chrysler’s Logo, Google Images [online] Available from: http://blog. caranddriver. com/wp-content/uploads/2008/07/Chrysler-Logo. jpg [Accessed 18 May 2013] Mini’s Logo, Google Images [online] Available from: http://4thekidsfoundation. org/resources/internal/file_views/195/1_mini-logo. j.

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