General Motors

Topics: Marketing, Strategic management, Automotive industry Pages: 13 (4060 words) Published: August 2, 2011
Question 1
Which role should marketing managers play in helping to formulate business-level (SBU) strategies in a large diversified firm such as General Motor? Visit the company’s South African website at and use the information obtainable from it to formulate your answer. At the business unit level the strategic issues of General Motors are both practical co-ordination of operating units and about developing and sustaining a competitive advantage for the cars and industry that they provide. The marketing manager’s role is to formulate and implement strategies that deal with the positioning: General Motors has to find a way of positioning and differentiating its cars and services against rivals such as BMW. They should anticipate changes in technology and customer perceptions and adjust the strategy to accommodate them. A need for influencing the nature of the competition through strategic actions such as virtual integration through political actions is a role of marketing managers. They assist in building strategic partnerships and co-innovating with other business units, partners and customers. Marketing managers translate the general statements of direction and intent churned out at corporate level. The manager identifies the most profitable market segment for GM where they can excel keeping in focus the vision of GM: ‘to be the world leader in transportation products and related services. We will earn our customers enthusiasm through continuous improvement driven by the integrity, teamwork and innovation of the GM people. The SBU might be based on product lines, geographical market or the differentiating strategies are formulated at each level since GM is a company ‘of diverse brands selling over 7.5 million vehicles in more than 120 countries worldwide.’

‘GM has a special package of services designed to help keep hard-earned vehicle investment secure and the family safe’ – the role of the marketing manager. General Motors has a warranty protection, road side assistance and a unique payment deal. We see from the above how important the marketing managers role impacts on the GM’s business level units.

Question 2
The Swire Coca-Cola USA Bottling Company, located in a large metropolitan area of some 5 million people, produced and marketed a line of carbonated beverages consisting mainly of flavored soft drinks (not including colas), soda water, and tonics. They were sold in different types of packages and sizes to a wide variety of retail accounts. How might such a firm expand its revenues by pursuing each of the following expansion strategies? •Market penetration

Product development
Market development
Visit the company’s website ( and use the information obtainable from it to formulate your answer.

The soft drink industry is very completive for all corporations involved, with the greatest competition being that from rival sellers within the industry. All soft drink companies have to think about the pressures that are from rival sellers within the industry, new entrants to the industry, substitute products, suppliers and buyers. The competitive pressure from rival sellers is the greatest competition that Swire Coca-Cola USA Bottling Company faces in the soft drink industry. Market penetration- new entrants are not a strong competitive pressure for the soft drink industry. Coca-Cola co-dominates the industry with their strong brand and great distribution channels.

Market penetration is one of the 4 growth strategies of the product market growth mix designed by Ansoff. The best way for Coca-Cola Company to penetrate a market is by gaining competitors’ customers (part of their market share). Market penetration occurs when the product and market already exist. In this case, Coca-Cola can attract non-users of the product with the soda water and tonics; these could be the types of customers that are health conscience. The existing customers...
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