Michio Suzuki founded Suzuki Loom Works, a privately owned loom manufacturing company, in 1909 in Hamamatsu, Japan. In 1954 it changed its name to Suzuki Motor Company, Ltd. Suzuki changed its policy many times according to the market requirements. Suzuki started with introducing its products in Japan and then exporting it to various foreign markets (100 countries). It started off with motorcycles and was now producing trucks & subcompact cars as well. Japan's voluntary restrain agreement (VRA) quotas made it impossible for Suzuki to export any cars other than the Sprint to USA in future. In1985 Suzuki introduced the SJ413 an upgraded model of SJ 410 and designed especially for US market as further delay would increase the threat of Brand Clutter'. Suzuki planned to market two versions of the Samurai in USA, a convertible and a hard top. There were other players who were also planning to enter the market. Hyundai Motor Company & Zavodi Crvena Zastava (yugo) were expected to enter in 1986.
Suzuki, was now facing the following question?
· How should SJ 413 be positioned in the US market?
From the exhibits provided we can figure out that there were two things which were important for the customer while selecting a vehicle: · Physical Characteristics (Design/appearance)
Based on its physical characteristics, the major three positioning options for Samurai SJ413 were: · Position as a compact sport utility vehicle
· Position as a compact pickup truck
· Position as a subcompact car
Positioning as a Sports Utility Vehicle
The most obvious position for the samurai was as a sport utility vehicle. It looked like a "mini- jeep" and had 4-wheel drive capability. The positioning of Samurai as sport utility vehicle solely...