What is Suzuki’s strategy in the U.S.?

Essay by EssaySwap ContributorUniversity, Master's February 2008

download word file, 3 pages 1.0

The Samuri is a very unique vehicle in the American market. It doesn't fit into any pre-existing automobile segment, and the current classification system was based on a vehicle's physical appearance. The Samuri looked like it combined styling ideas from three different automobile segments: subcompact cars, compact pickup trucks, and sport utility vehicles. It was also priced at a similar level or sometimes much lower than other comparable vehicles in these segments. Suzuki has decided to go with an "unposition". This isn't necessarily saying they haven't selected a specific position, but rather they didn't want to exclude any possible buyers for their product.

2. What factors should influence the positioning of the Samuri? If we were hired to come up with a positioning strategy based on the information given in the case, we would start by looking at the physical characteristics of the vehicle and its features. Next we would look at data collected from previous buyers and potential buyers on their feelings towards the vehicle.

The case mentions many sources of surveys and focus groups. The data from Japan would give a better long term view of the product's positioning since it's been used there for a long time. The data from Canada would give a good idea on demographics of the typical buyer, but the problem arises because of their climatic and cultural differences with the US. The "gray-area" Florida data would show how the US market might react, but not all climates are as nice as Florida's and having a convertible roof wouldn't be as important in other areas. This begins looking into how the features will effect the positioning. Here we'd look at the perceptual maps and try to place the Samuri into a niche that has not been too overloaded with competition. Looking at...