Questions and Answers on Honda's Incursion into the U.S. Motorcycle Market

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Class discussion preparation questions: HONDA case 1

1.Why was Honda so successful in invading the US motorcycle market?

Honda was successful in invading the U.S. market fundamentally because they adopted a “market philosophy”, and allowed that clear strategic approach to permeate the company’s approach to marketing, sales, production, and R&D. This was in contrast to the incumbent U.S. and British motorcycle manufacturers, who failed to recognize success of Honda’s strategy in the Japanese market, leaving open the opportunity within the U.S.

The “market philosophy” emphasized 1. Capturing market share and 2. Increasing sales volumes above short-term profitability. Honda’s approach began by re-conceptualizing the motorcycle in the minds of consumers (“You meet the nicest people on a Honda”), based on identified customer need, and supported by high advertising expenditures.

2.Based on the case:

-how do you think that Sochiro Honda spent his time?
I believe Sochiro Honda spent his time evaluating consumer’s needs rather than company needs. He was evaluating the needs of low-middle income people and companies and tried to fulfill their needs and how this vehicle can increase their productivity.

-How did he add value? He added value by entering into MASS production to cater for a certain group of consumers -What kind of person was he? I believe he was very proactive and creative

3. What messages does the Boston Consulting Group’s report on Honda (from which this case study is extracted) send to top managers?
The report sent Boston Consulting Group's (BCG) to Honda Motor Co. management discusses the organizational planning, learning, and strategy necessary for success in business. Real success comes mainly from the superior and innovative products. Although the British automobile industry did come up with a superior product, they failed in the market because they did not understand how superior their products were, leading to uncertainty...
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