Holden Australia Close-out Essay Example

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Since its establishment in 1856, Holden is a private motor company that has been invested in the manufacture and supply of motor vehicles in Australia and throughout the globe (White, 2015). The company was previously known as General Motors Holden and has its headquarters in both Victoria and Port Melbourne in Australia. Among the vehicles that Holden has manufactured include the Colorado, Ute, Opel, Epica, Commodores, diverse sedans and sports cars as well. Being a large brand, Holden has a great reputation globally and has succeeded in its sales and growth in the motor vehicle industry. The October 2017 plan by Holden to shut down its manufacturing base has however affected the company’s publicity in different ways which may have a negative impact on the motor firm (Burns, 2014). The intent to close out is bound to affect different parties, including investors, finance establishments, competitors, employees, suppliers, dealers and consumers as a whole (Stanwick et al,2015).

Generally, there is potential negativity in the change expected as the company will have cut most of its operations in the region (Rees, 2014). From different literature, it was determined that Holden has had a reputable profile with consumers ranking most cars at a rate of eight over ten. The change may however affect the opinions of consumers despite their loyalty as the company will no longer be able to meet their specific demands (Barbaro et al, 2014). Furthermore, competitors of Holden may have an excellent chance to gain into their market share which weakens the image of the company. Holden motor company may additionally be required to come up with a crisis marketing strategy that will save the reputation of the brand. With previous downfalls that affected the brand such as the failure by the Epica to sell in Australia; the subsequent exit will grossly affect the image of Holden motor company (Barnes, 2016). This research proposal will therefore provide an overview of the present publicity effect of Holden, the effect of the upcoming change in the company and the how the company can counter the negative publicity that is as a result of closing out. The proposal will further present the methods that will be used to carry out the research on how Holden can counter the negative publicity that has affected it on its impending exit.

Research Objectives

The long term goal of the research is to determine ways in which the negative publicity directed towards Holden Company can be neutralized. Negative publicity is herein emphasized as unfavorable publicity that a firm incurs because of a specific reason or several reasons and one that has catastrophic consequences. Generally, negative publicity is detrimental for business. To counter the negative publicity that may affect Holden, the following objectives were formulated so as to have a proper framework for carrying out the research and giving the best recommendation for the existing problem. The objectives are thus as follows:

  1. To profile Holden in the automotive industry as well as its overseas cases and obtain information from the competitors of Holden
  2. To profile the attitudes and opinions of Holden consumers and those of consumers who travel abroad for manufacturing
  3. To determine how best to use the media in managing negative publicity and the best practice that can be implemented

Research Approach

The study will utilize the descriptive study approach to determine an accurate evaluation of the reputation of Holden and the ways that can be used to mitigate the problem of negative publicity. Descriptive research uses available data to establish different phenomena and thus will be useful in this study based on the expected responses from consumers, review of case studies and evaluation of subsequent data that is relevant (Zikmund et al, 2013). The main phenomenon under the study will be the behavior of different affected parties in the closeout of Holden. The information gathered will then be used to draw correlations and present solutions to the existing problem at Holden Motors. Analysis of the data drawn mostly from statistical inferences will be used to describe the problem of the change and possible solutions to negative publicity in the company.

The adoption of descriptive research as the approach for the study is coupled with several advantages such as the ability to use both quantitative and qualitative data for analysis (Jackson, 2014). Data collection is furthermore comprehensive as the researcher may be able to get different conclusions from one set of data. Moreover, the researcher will be able to observe the phenomenon under the study in its natural environment. In the case of current research, the change will be observed in the consumer, employee competitor and investor setting as well as the automotive industry in Australia. As with most descriptive researches, however, there is the risk of bias, especially in the way that the researcher may formulate the questions thus affecting the credibility of the research (Sekaran and Bougie, 2016).

Research Design

  1. Research Technique

The study will adopt the survey technique for the research. Specifically, an online survey will be done using questionnaires submitted to the population sample for the study. The choice of survey and questionnaires is based on the large number of literate individuals involved in the purchase of motor vehicles, the high possibility of sampling respondents and the ease of using one language to carry out the study. An online survey has the capacity to reach many individuals and is less costly compared to self administration of questionnaires (Blair et al, 2013). The questionnaire will thus be constructed in one language and distributed over different web platforms where access of the participants will be easiest.

  1. Population

The population of interest for this study will be consumers of motor vehicles and parties affected by the motor vehicle industry; most particularly buyers, sellers, users, competitors and shareholders of Holden Company. The population will thus require participants above the required age of driving in Australia which is eighteen. The target population for the study will be 10, 000 participants. The research will be based on the assumption that the target population is literate based on the study requirements for a driving license. The dependability on the population will be based on the frequency of visiting the websites that will be used including holden.com.au and motoring.com.au.

  1. Sampling design

The research will use 10% of the target population as the sample for the study. The sample will thus be:

10/100 * 10,000

= 1000 participants

A sample involves a smaller representation of the elements of the study (Fowler, 2013). The availability of the sample population online is majorly guaranteed given the amount of time that most individuals currently spend online (Goyal, 2017).

  1. Implementation

The researcher will seek permission with holden.com.au and motoring.com.au to put up the survey on their websites based on the main objective of establishing ways to offset negative publicity on Holden. The sample group for the study will be requested to complete an online questionnaire inclusive of an estimate of twenty questions. The approximate time for completion of the questionnaire will be ten minutes. The response rate is expected to be high as the questionnaire will not be long and will equally have simple questions. Most of the questions will be closed ended and a majority of them will be based on the knowledge and feelings of the participants.

  1. Suggested topics and questions to be investigated

Basic demographic information

  1. How would you rate your knowledge of cars?
  1. Very good
  1. How would you rate your knowledge of car manufacturers
  1. Very good
  1. Which of the following is your favorite car company
  1. Volkswagen
  2. If other please state______________________________________
  1. Based on question 3, why is the company your favorite?
  1. Reputable brand
  2. Good technology
  3. Affordable
  1. What is your take on Holden as a company?


  1. How would you rate Holden as a company?
  1. Excellent
  2. Can do better
  3. I don’t know
  1. Have you purchased a vehicle from Holden?
  1. Were you satisfied with the product?
  1. Explain ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
  1. Would you recommend Holden Vehicles to other people?
  1. Explain ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
  1. What do you feel about the impending closeout by Holden?


  1. Will you buy any of Holden’s products/associated products after the closeout?
  1. Explain ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
  1. What is your professional opinion about Holden’s closeout?


  1. Do you think the exit of Holden’s manufacturing in Australia is an opportunity for its competitors?
  1. Explain ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

State your agreement with the following statements

(Strongly agree Agree Neutral Disagree Strongly disagree)

  1. Holden’s reputation is already disastrous
  2. Holden’s image can still be sustained through social media
  3. Social media brings more harm than good to a company
  1. Why should Holden use social media
  1. For company information
  2. Product information
  3. Career opportunities
  4. Complaints
  5. Discussion forums
  1. Why do you access Holden on social media
  1. For company information
  2. Product information
  3. Career opportunities
  4. Complaints
  5. Discussion forums
  1. Which social media platform do you use to access Holden
  1. Facebook
  2. Linkedin
  1. What are the best PR strategies that can be used by Holden?


Project Schedule

Schedule /2017
Initial planning
  • Choose a topic
  • Test the topic
Research design and planning
  • Completion of research questions
  • Development of research plan
Literature review
  • Primary, library and internet search
  • Preparation of literature review draft
  • Submission
  • Feedback
Data collection
  • Sampling plan
  • Data collection technique and instrument
  • Pilot test
  • Actual data collection
  • Recording of results
Data analysis
  • Analyze data
  • Summarize analysis
Final write up
  • Final draft
  • Review with supervisor
  • Final submission

Reference List

Barbaro, B., Spoehr, J. and National Institute of Economic and Industry Research (Australia),

2014. Closing the motor vehicle industry: The impact on Australia. Australian Workplace

Innovation and Social Research Centre (WISeR) & the National Institute of Economic &

Industry Research (NIEIR), The University of Adelaide.

Barnes, T., 2016. Transition to where? Thinking through transitional policies for Victoria’s

automotive manufacturing industry.

Blair, J., Czaja, R.F. and Blair, E.A., 2013. Designing surveys: A guide to decisions and

procedures. Sage Publications.

Burns, J., 2014. The human cost of the shifting economy: Holden’s closure and Elizabeth’s

future. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, p.0004867414526790.

Fowler Jr, F.J., 2013. Survey research methods. Sage publications.

Goyal, A., 2017. A Study of consumer perceptions and purchase behaviour trends towards digital

online buying behaviour of customers from different age-groups. International Education

and Research Journal, 3(1).

Jackson, S.L., 2014. Research methods: A modular approach. Cengage Learning.

Rees, D., 2014. The view from down under The perils of fearful captaincy: lifestyle. Without

Prejudice, 14(1), pp.82-83.

Sekaran, U. and Bougie, R., 2016. Research methods for business: A skill building approach.

John Wiley & Sons.

Stanwick, J., Circelli, M. and Lu, T., 2015. The End of Car Manufacturing in Australia: What Is

the Role of Training?. National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER).

White, L., 2015. The motor museum of popular culture: Presenting the national story

of’Australia’s own car’. CAUTHE 2015: Rising Tides and Sea Changes: Adaptation and

Innovation in Tourism and Hospitality, p.771.

Zikmund, W.G., Babin, B.J., Carr, J.C. and Griffin, M., 2013. Business research methods.

Cengage Learning.