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Developing Hybrid Vehicles at General Motors

The new product paradigm is based on combining technologies so that vehicles use a less expensive and more environmentally friendly way to operate. These new technologies include burning fuels such as alcohol or hydrogen or combine the use of electricity and gasoline. In some new models, the vehicle will start off using its gasoline engine and, when the driver has reached cruising speed, the batteries power the car while the primary engine idles. This greatly reduces the use of gasoline and lessens the amount of pollution from the car.
The objectives of this research will be to gauge the demand for hybrid and alternative fuel vehicles by conducting surveys of consumers and collecting data on the impact of providing such products to the market. Specifically, the research will focus on those individuals who are likely to purchase a vehicle in the next 12 months and are either concerned about the price of fuel or about the environmental impact of fossil fuel consumption. the research will seek to quantify the percentage of American consumers who are likely to respond positively to a new hybrid vehicle from GM and determine what features would be most attractive to them.
Study Type. The research proposed in this study will be structured along the lines of standard exploratory methods, combining both primary and secondary research scopes.
The overall aim of the research is to come to a general understanding of consumer demand for a proposed new vehicle that operates on alternative fuels and/or provides the consumer with superior performance in terms of fuel consumption. This inquiry will be combined with an investigation into the feasibility and cost of designing and producing such a product. The initial focus of the research will be primary. it will focus directly on consumer demand for the special features of the product. Further, there will be a secondary research component that will seek to use current independent research into the costs and benefits associated with providing this type of product to the American consumer.
Target Population and Sample Size. The target population for this study will be American consumers who fall into three categories. First, the individuals surveyed must be likely to purchase a new vehicle within the next 12 months. This will inform the research with the opinions of actual prospective consumers and prevent the introduction of inaccurate information from those who are not within the target market. Second, the target population members will have to have more than just the intention to purchase a new vehicle. They must have a strong opinion on one of two other areas. either they are very concerned about the price of gasoline because of the increased expenses they incur OR they are concerned about the environment and the impact of fossil fuel consumption on the future of the planet. Any person who is likely to purchase a new vehicle within the next year AND is concerned about gas prices or the environment will be considered a valid member of the target population.

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