The New Beetle
Volkswagen (VW) according to the case had a bumpy start in the US market. Initially, VW had a tough time penetrating the US market since the first two cars, Type 1 (Beetle) were sold in the US in 1949. Since this was right after WWII, most Americans were cautious about buying imported cars and Germany had other image problems (as stated in the case). Maintenance and parts of foreign cars were expensive that not a lot of the populace could afford, but despite this, VW sales grew. By the end of 1994, at total of 8,913 VW were in America and in 1955, the company was incorporated and officially became Volkswagen of America. In these years, Hahn, the head of the VW America focused the advertising on the quality of service VW offered. However, after having high sales, some events in the next several years brought VWs sales down. A few of these events were, the audience moving away from hatchbacks (VW's Golf), dealers began moving to Japanese brands and VW not being able to comply with the requirements of the new environmental legislation. To re-launch the product in America, the market needs to be segmented. This segmentation can be based on demographics which would encompass age, gender, income and occupation. The case discusses that the demographics of the market are diverse. Hence, it can be further segmented into behavioral and psychographic segments. Some characteristics of potential customers of the new beetle had qualities like confidence, individualism and the desire of center of attention. This is what the target ideal market would be for VM to pursue. People that show same behavioral patterns as the sample discussed about in the case who liked the new VW. As discussed in the case, most of the returning customers shared, “Beetles are repositories of personal history as well as practical transportation.” New customers shared how their job does not define what they are but their car will. Targeting this market will generate sales from both, old...
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