In this age, competition is becoming stiffer for companies and businesses. At the same time consumers are becoming more complex and aware of their rights and end up demanding for better services and products.
There is therefore only one way that companies can survive in this market and this is by identifying and seizing opportunities as they occur. Companies are forming specific departments and employing highly qualified employees to scout and search for opportunities that will open doors for greater business potential that will translate to more profits and growth.
The leapfrog strategy is a strategy that is employed by those who know the importance of being the first mover and seizing opportunities before anyone else does. It is with the same spirit that aspiring entrepreneurs also scan the environment for better opportunities that will allow them venture into business.
Businessmen and business executives don’t just wake up one morning and decide to pursue a given business line, they instead conduct research and use various models to arrive to that decision. Such models involved in environmental scanning may include, Strength, Weakness, Opportunity, Threat Analysis (SWOT), Market opportunity analysis (MOA), Portfolio Analysis which is suitable for existing product lines, and many more models.
Such models are used to bring out clear what if situations which are combined with current situations to support strong business decisions. Venturing into business without any plan and particular understanding is similar to gambling therefore a lot of research and strategy is needed.
Environmental scanning is the first step in identifying the kind of opportunities that exist in the market once such opportunities are identified, it is then that they can be evaluated and pursued with confidence. Any organization or entrepreneur who wants the chunk of money that is available in the market must understand that there is the internal and external environment in business.
The internal environment consists of values, culture and resources. While the external environment consists of more dynamic and unpredictable forces which must be well understood before carrying out any decisions.
The Australian car market is on decline. A report by IBIS world Australian Research Company indicates that the automobile makers are having a rough time. Over the last five years, the automobile industry earnings’ are expected to reduce by up to 6.1% yearly to settle at $11.91 billion owing to hard economic times and other factors. The problems of car manufacturers are as a result of, more fuel-efficient and eco friendly vehicles owed to environmental concerns and the soaring cost of petrol that is gaining base amongst consumers.
Consequently it is now a huge issue for local manufactures who have been concentrating on large high fuel consuming automobiles. Truck manufacturers have realized that consumers are starting to demand for automobiles that use cleaner fuel sources .There has also been a sharp decline in the sector of freight trucks which is not necessarily because of ecological concerns.
The fall of demand in marketing does not translate to lack of business and opportunities it is through business reengineering and massive research that other business opportunities occur. Although current market trends and records by the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI) indicated that approximately 85,000 passenger cars, SUVs and commercial vehicles were sold in September, up by about 9 per cent on the same month of September last year.
This Septembers automobile sales spiked up to shadow the previous highest September record sales which were last seen in 2005 nearly 600 units. As cited by (FCAI) “it is therefore encouraging for the participants of the automobile industry to witness that sales to private buyers recorded the largest increase this month by approximately 14% which is further a sign of renewed confidence in Australian automobile market”.
Given this strong and renewed confidence in the Australian market it is expected that over 1 million cars will be sold this year as compared to the previous estimate of 980,000. According to the FCAI the Australian market has only managed to sell over one million cars in a given year only two times previously. The SUV section recorded the highest sales during September, with an increase of approximately 36% followed by passenger cars which were up by 3% and then light commercials vehicles which grew by 2%.
Accordin to the (FCAI) website “Toyota was the top automobile selling company with sales of about 16,185 automobiles, with Holden managing 10,718 automobile units then, Mazda with a total of 8,850 units in September”. Starting from January to September 780,720 vehicles have been sold, which is a hike of 14.5 per cent compared to last year sales.
It is therefore evident that although researchers and the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI) expected the industry not to do well in 2010 but the consumers have surprised them. This is especially good because the local motor industry is being overtaken by foreign automobile manufacturing companies’ especially Chinese manufacturers who seem to have favorable pricing strategies which seem appealing to locals.
The Australian Capital Territory, New South Wales, northern Territory ,Queensland ,South Australia ,Tasmania, Victoria, Western Australia serve as Australia largest automobile sales territories with the Australian capital territory pushing almost 25,000 units monthly which is higher than any other region in Australia.
It is therefore necessary to analyze the external environment critically and conduct an market opportunity analysis (MOA ) .will assist you understand were most viable opportunities are located in the industry. The external environment consists of the immediate task environment which has the customers, competitors, government and its agencies, shareholders and other special groups which at the end of the day influence the magnitude and type of opportunities that exist in a given market.
Apart from the task environment there is the societal environment which consists of legal forces, economic forces, political and social cultural which also at the same time shape the kind of opportunities that exist in a given industry; It is by fully understanding this forces that a given business entity can formulate a recipe of success.
A market opportunity analysis (MOA) is carried out in the following way
Appendix A: an illustration of how to conduct a market opportunity analysis.
By understanding geographic, demographic, behavioral, psychographic and behavioral patterns of various market segments it is then that the company can tackle the issue of pursuing any opportunities with high accuracy this model helps corporations recognize problems, gather information, evaluate the marketing needs of consumers in terms of product, place, pricing and promotion.
According to Plunknet research limited and other many automobile research institutions the global motor industry is showing the following trends the automobile Industry, global rivalry heats up between United States, German, Japanese, Chinese and Korean Car Makers.
The issue of fuel efficiency becomes a vital element in the purchase of automobiles. Therefore hybrid cars such as the Prius are steadily gaining market share and there seems there is a new frontier that is opening up for electric cars. Many companies are therefore dedicating million of dollars to research on Lithium batteries and environmentally friendly diesel technology is gaining more popularity in automobile manufacturers.
Research indicates that by outsourcing component design and sharing manufacturing resources such as is the case with BMW and Volkswagen will result to massive advantages. Automobile purchasers are relying on internet and web based purchasing modes rather than go to car dealerships.
China and India have recorded record growth in automobile sales therefore attracting interest of the largest car makers in the world. Consumers are opting for safety and luxury car models, SUVs, Small Sedans and Crossovers leading to an expansion Market Share. People all over the world prefer SUV’S because they seem to be good family vehicles saving costs rather than having more than one car.
With Holden, Toyota, Ford, and Mitsubishi being the largest automobile manufacturers and selling companies who move most units by selling SUV’s and Medium, Light/Small cars selling the best in all Australian territories according to Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI) this year and this quarter. It is expected that car sales will hit over one million units which has only happened twice to date it is therefore to realize that this are the major areas of opportunity in the Australian motor industry.
It may therefore be difficult for Great wall motors to compete with existing competitors such as GM Holden, Toyota, Ford, and Mitsubishi which have been in the business for over half a century.
The kind of trust and intangible brand value attached to these companies is massive, and in order to compete with them massive marketing campaigns and resources need to be put into place. The total evaluation of the marketing facets of product, price, place, and promotion can demand to be reviewed in order to capture the attention of Australian consumers.
According to porter’s generic model of competitive strategies companies can choose one of for competitive strategies these are cost leadership whereby a broad target market and low cost is implemented, secondly cost focus whereby a narrow market and a lower cost is pursued thirdly, differentiation were a larger market and product differentiation is pursued and lastly differentiation focus which the company implements a strategy of serving a narrow target market and high differentiation is involved.
By following a differentiation strategy must have a lot of financial resources to provide unique and superior products as compared to its competitors. A lower cost strategy is a strategy is a strategy where the company pursues a path which requires the company to efficiently produce its products as compared to its rivals to serve a wider scope, resulting to lower pricing.
Great wall motors should pursue this strategy because the much bigger companies such as GM Holder, Toyota, and Ford seem have more resources financially and in terms of research and development and it may exhaust Great Wall resources.
Having environmental concerns and pricing and fuel consumption as explained above, it is therefore this forces that should be the forces that should force the future strategies if Great wall Market for it to survive and make a killing in the Australian industry and global market, at the same time quality should be considered within the confines.
The risks associated with cost leadership are that other competitors can easily imitate, and once the bases of cost leadership erode a company may find itself in trouble. Its biggest advantage is that it serves a wider and larger market. Claims are that the Australian motor industry is going down the tube because of the invasion of cheaper Chinese models; it is this statement that clearly shows that there is massive potential for Great wall motors.
Great wall Motor industries should follow Stability strategy as it continues to venture into other areas of Australia and proceed with caution. Such a strategy reduces the amount of risk it faces but it should also expand the number of its dealership and have a good internet site were online ordering can occur and delivery can be hastened.
Embarking on massive awareness campaigns which involve advertising especially using opinion leaders, and well known and trusted Australians can offer your company new opportunities and broaden you market.
If possible it is also good that the company forms strategic alliances with existing companies such as garages and financial institutions that will enhance its image as a well known and giant automobile manufacturer. Offering special packages to corporate and state department for purchases can help the company get massive awareness and boost its image as far as the Australian industry is concerned.
Therefore in summary Great wall motors should concentrate on formulating the best pricing strategy that will capture a wider market, as compared to other top manufacturers who focus on their brand value and reputation.
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A Mathew, & J Kaye, Simplified strategic planning, a no-nonsense guide for busy people who want results fast, Chandler House Press, Worcester, MA, 2005, p. 85
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