Skoda

Topics: Škoda Auto, Automotive industry, Volkswagen Group Pages: 7 (1896 words) Published: August 23, 2013
SKODA - CASE STUDY

This case study focuses on how Skoda UK's management built on all the areas of the strategic audit. The outcome of the SWOT analysis was a strategy for effective competition in the car industry. The audit provided a summary of the business's overall strategic position by using a SWOT analysis. SWOT is an acronym which stands for:

* Strengths - the internal elements of the business that contribute to improvement and growth

* Weaknesses - the attributes that will hinder a business or make it vulnerable to failure

* Opportunities - the external conditions that could enable future growth

* Threats - the external factors which could negatively affect the business.

INTRODUCTION

Skoda is a global brand offering a range of products in a highly competitive and fragmented market. The company must respond positively to internal and external issues to avoid losing sales and market share.

A SWOT analysis brings order and structure to otherwise random information.  The SWOT model helps managers to look internally as well as externally. The information derived from the analysis gives direction to the strategy. It highlights the key internal weaknesses in a business, it focuses on strengths and it alerts managers to opportunities and threats.

Skoda was able to identify where it had strengths to compete. The structured review of internal and external factors helped transform Skoda UK's strategic direction. The case study shows how Skoda UK transformed its brand image in the eyes of potential customers and build its competitive edge over rivals. By developing a marketing strategy playing on clearly identified strengths of customer happiness, Skoda was able to overcome weaknesses. It turned its previously defensive position of the brand to a positive customer-focused experience. The various awards Skoda has won demonstrate how its communications are reaching customers. Improved sales show that Skoda UK's new strategy has delivered benefits.

In 1895 in Czechoslovakia, two keen cyclists, Vaclav Laurin and Vaclav Klement, designed and produced their own bicycle. Their business became Skoda in 1925. Skoda went on to manufacture cycles, cars, farm ploughs and airplanes in Eastern Europe. Skoda overcame hard times over the next 65 years. These included war, economic depression and political change.

By 1990 the Czech management of Skoda was looking for a strong foreign partner. Volkswagen AG (VAG) was chosen because of its reputation for strength, quality and reliability. It is the largest car manufacturer in Europe providing an average of more than five million cars a year giving it a 12% share of the world car market.

Volkswagen AG comprises the Volkswagen, Audi, Skoda, SEAT, Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles, Lamborghini, Bentley and Bugatti brands. Each brand has its own specific character and is independent in the market. Skoda UK sells Skoda cars through its network of independent franchised dealers.

To improve its performance in the competitive car market, Skoda UK”s management needed to assess its brand positioning. Brand positioning means establishing a distinctive image for the brand compared to competing brands. Only then could it grow from being a small player. To aid its decision-making, Skoda UK obtained market research data from internal and external strategic audits. This enabled it to take advantage of new opportunities and respond to threats.

To work on the strengths, Skoda UK carried out research. It asked customers directly for their opinions about its cars. It also used reliable independent surveys that tested customers' feelings.

For example, the annual JD Power customer satisfaction survey asks owners what they feel about cars they have owned for at least six months. JD Power surveys almost 20,000 car owners using detailed questionnaires. Skoda has been in the top five manufacturers in this survey for the past 13 years.

In Top Gear's 2007 customer...
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