Consumers' Trade-Off Between Relationship, Service Package, and Price: An Empirical Study in the Car Industry

G.J. Odekerken-Schröder, J. Ouwersloot, J.G.A.M. Lemmink, J. Semeijn

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


    Assesses whether consumer segments based on relational aspects, service aspects, or price aspects have different preferences concerning these three key decision‐making variables when buying a car. In addition, assesses consumer segments resulting from simultaneously incorporating relationships, service package, and price. Investigates a large sample of Mitsubishi drivers in The Netherlands emphasizing consumers’ trade‐off between dealer relationship, service package and price. Conjoint analysis showed that dealer relationships (as opposed to price) represent a very important decision‐making variable when buying a car and consumer preferences concerning relationships provide a useful instrument for segmenting markets. Cluster analyses on the basis of three aspects simultaneously revealed that some consumers do value relationships, while others emphasize the service package in their purchase, both opposed to the third segment that is most probably not inclined to be loyal to a car dealer at all. Clearly indicates that different consumer segments can be distinguished on the basis of preferences for relationships and service packages rather than on the basis of price. This knowledge enables car dealers to use their resources more effectively.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)219-242
    Number of pages24
    JournalEuropean Journal of Marketing
    Issue number1/2
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2003


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