The push for green cars comes from people looking for ways to lessen their impact on the environment and become less dependent on oil. The research into alternative and more efficient energy is ongoing, but there is technology available for those who are willing to help. At the individual level, personal automobiles are one of the easiest ways for people to help with the movement. As more people are becoming informed and taking action, companies are feeling pressure from the government and customers to make changes. The change process has been relatively slow and not all countries feel passionate about making changes. In Greece, the change has been slow to sell more green cars. Our consulting group has been assigned the task of helping the Vrohidis-Hatzis Ford dealership find ways to sell green cars in Greece to gain a competitive advantage in the automobile market.
Our client, The Vrohidis-Hatzis Ford dealership opened its doors in 1996. Tasos Hatzis is the current owner of the company located on Γεωργική Σχολή in Thessaloniki. The company has maintained high sales from year to year and last year the company sold 1,800 cars. There are currently a total of four Ford dealerships in the area, all competing for the same market. To increase sales and gain a first mover advantage, the dealership is exploring the possibility of green vehicles. As mentioned, Greece is slow to adopt these more environmentally friendly vehicles. However, the Ford Motor Company states on their website they are committed to improving fuel economy and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Around the world, and in the United States especially, there has been high demand for the Ford Escape hybrid and other vehicles.
Ironically, the problem our client faces comes from the European headquarters in Germany. They are not convinced the hybrid cars will sell in Greece and refuse to ship any of the vehicles. In general, Ford’s market share has increased in Greece. In 2001, Ford became one of the top ten car brands in Greece. Currently, the main competition for comes from the Opel, Toyota, Volkswagen and Hyundai brands. Of these, only Toyota offers a hybrid car model for sale (www.seaa.gr).
Our consulting group has been asked to find ways to exploit the new trend of green vehicles for the Vrohidis-Hatzis Ford dealership to increase sales by emphasizing future Ford plans. The dealership’s problem is two-fold. They must convince Ford to deliver the vehicles and convince customers to purchase the new vehicles. The task is quite large, involving many variables beyond the control of the dealership. Our recommendations are based on the interviews with the dealership employees and research on the green car movement.
What direction will Ford take in making green vehicles?
•Short and long term plans
What other options are available if Ford refuses to send the hybrid vehicles? •Research ethanol fuel
•Research partial hybrid options
•Research an ethanol/hybrid vehicle
What are the competitors doing in regards to green cars?
How do you convince the people of Greece to buy green cars?
•Methods of advertising
The car market in Greece is large with around 250,000 cars sold every year. The top five companies are Toyota, VW, Ford, Hyundai, and Opel. Their market shares are 9.53%, 7.94%, 7.6%, 7.36%, and 6.78% respectively. Toyota is the market leader, with sales around 25,000 cars per year. With each company having many dealerships, competition is fierce. Below are the market shares and sales figures for the top five automobile companies.
All numbers were taken from: http://www.seaa.gr/common/statistics
Market shares 2006