Sports cars are an influential part of our society, and innovative automakers have procured a large fan base of lifetime customers. Many of these people are just car enthusiasts, while others have strong preferences to particular makes and models. In blogging the past five weeks I have highlighted some of the industry leaders in sports cars. Each company I’ve highlighted uses a different strategy to appeal to their target market, accentuating a different business aspect.
Week 1: Consumers are becoming ever more environmentally conscious when making their car buying decisions. In lieu of this, Lotus created the Eco-Elise. This car is focused not only on fuel efficiency, but is made with sustainable and recyclable materials inside and out. The manufacturing plant also practices eco-friendliness by reducing trash waste, cutting back on electricity and water usage, and has chosen nearby suppliers to minimize miles traveled. Beyond making a car that is safer for the environment, Lotus recognizes that environmentally conscious consumers’ standards are rising, and in order to continue to be profitable they will have to stay ahead of these trends.
Week 2: Marketing is a crucial aspect to any businesses’ success, and in a highly saturated and competitive market, the ability to create a differentiator is crucial to the success of a sports car. Consumer perception drives demand for sports cars, and therefore companies must create strong ties to their brand. BMW has created an exemplary marketing and branding strategy with their sleek advertisements and simple slogan: “The Ultimate Driving Machine.” BMW has worked tirelessly to maintain their image with the public, and with the use of market research have created a campaign that is highly lucrative.
Week 3: To integrate, or not to integrate: that is the question. Not for Ford. Since construction on the first manufacturing plant in 1915, Henry Ford’s vision was to create a completely self-sustained manufacturing plant. He wanted to employ a high level of vertical integration, to the degree that all of the car parts were made, manufactured and assembled in one location. This creates a sense of continuity among employees and within each car, as well as reduces waste and cost. The Ford Mustang, one of the most iconic American sports cars, is still manufactured at The Ford River Rouge Center, the very first Ford manufacturing plant.
Week 4: At the end of the day, every company, automakers included, are in business to make a profit. The cyclical nature of business is what keeps our economy moving. Porsche has mastered this aspect of business, and is by far the most profitable sports car company in the industry. Porsche’s profit margins exceed those of competitors by an average of ten percent, and their hold on market share and price premium isn’t going anywhere.
I’ve thoroughly enjoyed blogging about these commendable car companies, and hope that you’ve enjoyed reading, and maybe even learned a thing or two!