Environmental attitudes and how they affect purchase intentions of environmentally friendly automobiles : An emperical study on Chinese students at Jönköping University

University essay from Högskolan i Jönköping/Internationella Handelshögskolan; Högskolan i Jönköping/Internationella Handelshögskolan


Consumers today are becoming more aware of how their behavior and use of resources affect the environment. It is becoming increasingly important for companies to understand consumer’s attitudes in order to predict their behavior. Extensive research has been conducted on the attitude-behavioral relationship in various fields of study. However, no research has been made on the attitude towards environmentally friendly automobiles and how it affects purchase intentions. Our research has been made in collaboration with Volvo Car Corporation, which in 2010 was acquired by Geely Automobile. The acquisition meant that an opportunity presented itself on the Chinese market, which today is the largest automobile market in the world. The thesis will focus on young Chinese consumer’s attitude toward the environment and how this may affect their purchase intentions towards environmentally friendly automobiles. The basis for our reasoning is that the factors environmental values, environmental knowledge and responsibility feelings make up an individual’s environmental attitude.

The purpose of this thesis is to investigate how environmental values, environmental knowledge and responsibility feelings affect purchase intentions towards environmentally friendly automobiles among young Chinese consumers.

We have used a quantitative approach in our collection of empirical data. With the help of a web-based self-completions survey we managed to send out the questionnaire to all Chinese students studying at Jönköping University and received a high response rate of 65%. We based the design of the survey on a model from Kaiser, Ranney, Hartig and Bowler (1999).

The major findings from our research conclude that the used model does not substantially explain purchase intentions of environmentally friendly automobiles. Our research suggests that the factors environmental knowledge and responsibility feelings are not significant when predicting intentions to purchase environmentally friendly automobiles. However, the factor environmental values proved to be strongly correlated when predicting intentions to purchase environmentally friendly automobiles.

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