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Case Analysis

1549 words - 7 pages

CASE ANALYSIS: THE HONDA ELEMENT
Title of the core: The Honda Element
Time context: Element began in 1998
Perspective/ print of view: Honda’s approach to launching the “Element” came as a bit of a surprise in that their approach was not what one would describe as traditional in the auto industry, they tried to appeal to their target market through a carefully thought out process of understanding what their young customers would like in a small SUV, and also using the SUV in a matter that their customer potentially would; hikes, traveling, moving, etc. The success of Honda’s element had mostly to do with understanding how the Gen-Y generation thinks, researching what the Gen-Y ...view middle of the document...

The product innovation charter (PIC) for Honda was simple, they saw an untouched...
Central issues/problem: problems about the engines and some parts of the honda car.
Statement of objectives: The most obvious objective marketers have for promotional activities is to convince customers to make a decision that benefits the marketer (of course the marketer believes the decision will also benefit the customer). For most for-profit marketers this means getting...
Areas of Consideration: Sales of the Element continued to slump throughout the final years of its production, bottoming out with only 14,000 units in 2009. In 2003 (The Element's inductory and most successful year) Honda sold more of the cars than it did in the vehicle's final 3 years combined. Industry analysts and Honda executives blamed the Element's demise on a variety of factors: competition from similar vehicles offered by other manufacturers, rivalry within the automaker's own product line and a dwindling market share for SUVs overall.
When Honda unveiled the Element in 2003 the design was unique and the no-nonsense philosophy and retro/progressive styling drew customers to the car. The still emerging and relatively new market for compact SUVs offered little competition and Honda was able to win over buyers; targeting the car toward young, active people with a list of options to suit outdoor activities like biking and camping. Competing automakers quickly noticed the vehicle's success and the Element was quickly joined by similar vehicles such as the Nissan Cube, Ford Flex, Kia Sole and Scion Xb. These other vehicles were similar to the Element and many of them were more affordable, which proved to be too alluring for the capricious young audience at which the car had been aimed. In addition to facing stiff competition from off the lot, the Element also had to cope with intense rivalry from within the Honda stable in the form of the automaker's flagship CRV. The Element model line struggled in the shadow of this more well-established sister car. Adding to this was Honda executives' decision not to update the Element at all during the car's entire 9 year production run; a decision that made the Element seem dull and dated in a market sector that places an extremely high value on ultramodern contemporary styling and state-of-the-art technology. The model's worst sales year which occurred in 2009 saw CRV outselling the Element by a factor of 5 to 1.
Other circumstances contributing to the Element's sales included a shrinking market for SUVs beginning around the time the vehicle was introduced. Growing public concern about the environment and the steadily increasing price of gasoline started to drive new car buyers away from SUVs towards smaller, more fuel-efficient passenger cars.
Alternative Courses of Action: The main idea of the product team was to develop an affordable, new design that target users would like to drive. To do this, it is important to understand the core...

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