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BUSINESS STRATEGY ASSIGNMENT 1

Executive summary:

The word “automobile” has its unique identity. Automobiles execute a vital role in shaping

people’s life and are looked upon as a status symbol even in this modern day scenario. The

evolution of automobiles over the years has a success story of its own. With its technological

advancements, swanky designs and products automobiles have gained a special and respectable

place in the market.

This case revolves around BMW group- a prominent European carmaker and its three

prepositions wiz. Increasing the output of production, the production of smaller cars and

maintaining quality. BMW a renowned car manufacturer was in the maturity stage of its industry

life cycle and needed modifications strategic implications to retain in the race. The automobile

industry was suffering from lethargic economic growth coupled with geopolitical dilemmas that

was having an adverse effect on the industry globally.

This report covers –

• Firms macro and micro external environment that shapes the competitive position and

bring out the key drivers of change

• Firms organizational strengths and weaknesses and analysis of its resources and strategic

capabilities that put a light on the critical success factors and key success factors

• Reasons that may cause ultimate demise of the firm

Efforts are also been made to made to recommend the factors that may overcome the factors that

may cause ultimate demise of the firm.

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Contents

The PESTEL Framework:...............................................................................................................3


Porter’ Five Forces Analysis:..........................................................................................................6
Key drivers of change:.....................................................................................................................8
The industry life cycle:....................................................................................................................9
Cycle of competition:....................................................................................................................10
Strategic Drift................................................................................................................................11
Resources:......................................................................................................................................12
Strategic capability of BMW:........................................................................................................13
Sources of cost efficiency:.............................................................................................................14
Value network of BMW:...............................................................................................................17
SWOT analysis of BMW:..............................................................................................................20
Critical success factors of BMW:..................................................................................................22
Key success factors of BMW:.......................................................................................................23
Factors that may cause ultimate demise of firm:...........................................................................23
References:....................................................................................................................................24
Error: Reference source not found

The PESTEL Framework:

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When there prevails high level of dubiety due to intricacy or brisk changes, it becomes difficult

to predict the external environmental that might affect the firm’s strategies. Thus scenario

analysis is done to evaluate the likely alternate views to predict the organizations future business

environment(Hejiden, 2006). In order to reach this conclusion PESTEL analysis is done to

identify the key drivers of change that can be used to predict the scenarios for the future.

PESTEL stands for political, economical, social, technological, environmental and legal and

forms a tool for analysis of the macro-environment of the organization(Thomas, 2007).

a. Political factors:

Political factors highlight the probable government laws and regulations, security

measures and restrictions that can apply to the industry as a whole. The probable factors

that affect the automobile industry are:

• Laws and regulations had affected the automobile industry since its outburst.

These laws generally revolved around the environmental norms that were to be

fulfilled by any car industry. Thus the car manufacturers had to take care of the

environmental issues during manufacturing of cars.

• Taxes and government foreign policies are critical for the automobile industry.

The foreign polices help us to decide the probability of success in the global

market.

• Introduction of new schemes in the US and Europe automobile industry wherein

regulations were led to produce high mileage cars along with increase in

automobile sales and production (Hill, 2008).

a. Economic factors:

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Economic factors relate to the exchange rates, economic growth globally and the business

setting prevailing in the industry. Economic factors for the industry are:

• There was excess capacity of cars produced thus giving rise to high amount of

revenue in marketing and new product designs. Thus there was lot of revenue

withheld even though demand was less than supply. For example the UK auto

market had 80% excess capacity in 2003 which freeze 1.3 billion euro of the

automobile industry (Autofacts, 2004).

• The total increase in the GDP globally from 2.0 % to 3.1% in the year 2008

(Statistics, 2009)

• Decrease in the exchange rate of Euro has hampered the European car makers in a

big way(Allen, 2006)

• Economic downturn in the US market (Copper, 2008)

• Surplus capital and buying power in the developing economies like India and

China and their personal emergence in the Global market-place.

a. Social factors:

Social factors include the changes in cultures and demographics globally apart from

change in the buying pattern and capacity of the consumer. Social factors having an

impact on the auto industry are:

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• Changes in the customer predilection from car being a status symbol to fuel

efficiency and low emission cars

• Changes in buying pattern of the consumers due to recession in mature markets.

• Environmental issues and awareness of the harmful emissions through

automobiles

a. Technological factors:

• Increase in use of technology to gain a clear competitive advantage

• Use of new and sophisticated design to overcome the decreased margins in the

industry

• Modifications or restriction on technology causing environmental pollution

a. Environmental factors:

• Increasing effect of awareness of global warming, greenhouse effect and burnout

among patrons (Organization, 2008)

• Shift in consumer’s tastes and preferences towards use of more eco-friendly cars,

hybrid cars, fuel cell cars etc.

• Stern application of the EURO norms set up to curb pollution in developing

countries

a. Legal factors:

• Restrictions and strict pollution norms set up in European and US markets

• Strict implications of the EURO norms in developing countries e.g. formation of

BHARAT norms on the lines of EURO norms in India (CEN, 2006)

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Porter’ Five Forces Analysis:

Potential
entrants

(Threat of

Bargaining Competitive rivalry Bargaining


power of power of
suppliers buyers

Threat of
substitutes

Threat of new entrants:

Threat of new entrants is dependent on the challenges faced during entry into the industry

or entry barriers. The threat of new entrants in case of automobile industry is less as large

capital cost is required to set up a manufacturing plant and assembly liner. Also it takes

time for new entrants to get a place and the reputation in the minds of the consumers

Threat of substitutes:

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BMW has a brand image of being powerful and luxurious. It is positioned in the

exclusive car range where there exist many substitutes for BMW like Mercedes, GM

and Toyota. Thus the threat of substitutes for BMW is high.

Bargaining power of buyers:

BMW and its competitors are positioned as in exclusive product range. Here the

bargaining power of buyers is high because the consumers can decide the product

according to the price range and buy the products accordingly. Also with environmental

issues hovering over the industry the buyers have the last say with ample substitutes

available.

Bargaining power of suppliers:

BMW had a good supply chain management system and had long relationship with

suppliers. The bargaining power of suppliers is high in this industry as the suppliers can

dedicate the price tag for the raw materials. Though long time associations with suppliers

can prove fruitful, the final word lies more or less with the suppliers.

Competitive rivalry:

The industry has cut throat competition for its products, with its products targeting the

same segment and positioned in a similar way. Competitive rivalry was high in the

industry with the dominant US and European markets facing stiff competition from the

Asian market.

Key drivers of change:

From the PESTEL analysis and the five force analysis, the key drivers of change are:

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• Huge deployment of infrastructure and manpower concentrated on automobile

industry after the dusk of the Second World War

• Consumer preferences for product excellence and cost of ownership

• Use of design as a chief asset

• Technological advancements

• Environmental issues

• Increase in the implication on brand management rather than product excellence

The industry life cycle:

BMW

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(Gerry Johnson, Kevan Scholes, Richard Whittington, 2008)

The implications of the five forces analysis varies with the industry life cycle. The

elements that underline the industry life cycle are development stage, growth stage,

shake-out stage, maturity stage and the decline stage. During start up the company is the

development stage with high differentiation and innovation as its assets followed by

growth stage where the firm experiences high growth with low bargaining power of

buyers and less threat of new entrants. In the shake-out stage the growth is slower and the

key assets for the firm are its managerial and financial activities. In the maturity stage the

growth is almost stagnant with high entry barriers, high competition but less unit costs

and higher market share. Finally in the decline stage the firm is likely to face extreme

rivalry with the rational and emotional approach key for the firm.

BMW was in the maturity stage of the industry life cycle. The growth of BMW was

stagnant but its standardized products like the 1,3,5,7 series having huge market share

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and brand identity in mature as well as developing markets. There were high entry

barriers in comparison with BMW. But BMW had considerable market share and

reputation for being an engineering excellence, an asset of BMW in the maturity stage.

Cycle of competition:

Cycle of competition underlines the various drifts between competitors with time. BMW,

the German carmaker had a consistent increase in its annual sales and had the technology

at its behest to counter its competitors in the market.

BMW’s competitive advantage lies in its integrated processes and its designs. The use of

scientific technology that BMW restores to, can be implemented to gaining higher

economies of scale. In terms of competition BMW has Lexus, Mercedes, Toyota, GM,

Volvo group etc. as its rivals in the automobile industry. BMW has its product range

from a MINI to a Rolls Royce. Thus its product range varies from a luxury segment to a

premium segment in the auto industry.

In the cycle of competition any core competencies or competitive advantage is temporary

and in this scenario the closest competitor of BMW is the Toyota group. Toyota group

has technology, production capacity; profit margins and product range that can give

BMW run for their money. It is also a proved product in immature market territory.

Thus BMW can strive in the cycle of competition through its core competencies and

competitive advantages

Strategic Drift

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Drift is trying to go towards a direction however fail to do that. This could be good or

bad. Strategic drift is when a company fails to work in line with the environmental

changes however incremental development is evidenced but there is a strong influence of

the cultural and historical factors.

BMW with its emphasis on brand developed incrementally with the changes in the

environment when it outsmarted competition. However the path way dependency paved

way for the acquisition of Rover an English brand. This could be due to the companies

need for huge production and the consolidation happened during that time. This would be

the strategic drift. The company beaded with the English brand when it was in the flux

phase of the strategic drift. But when the new CEO was appointed BMW went for

transformation and Rover was sold to Ford. After this BMW started to working in tandem

with the changes in the environment and developed incrementally.

Resources:

Every organization or a firm need and possess certain resources and competences required to

endure and thrive globally. In other words every firm has its own strategic capability to survive

against all odds(Gerry Johnson, Kevan Scholes, Richard Whittington, 2008).

The resources consist of –

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• Tangible resources underlining the physical chattels like plant, people and

finance of the organization

• Intangible resources underlining non-physical chattels like information,

reputation and knowledge (Gerry Johnson, Kevan Scholes, Richard Whittington,

2008)

Resource based analysis of BMW:

RESOURCES CATEGORIES BMW RESOURCES

PHYSICAL RESOURCES BMW’s technology, conventionally designed

and styled, effective segmentation according to

the market, supply chain and dealership

management
FINANCIAL RESOURCES Turnover of € 41.53 billion in 2003, gross

margins of € 3.2 billion in 2003, annual surplus

of € 3.2 billion in 2003, 7.4% profit margins in

2003
HUMAN RESOURCES Highly qualified labor force, Young and affluent

professionals
INTELLECTUAL CAPITAL Reputation for engineering excellence, brand

identity of being powerful , reliable and

luxurious, 1104.3 deliveries in 2003, sales of

277000 in 2003

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Strategic capability of BMW:

CATEGORIES BMW RESOURCES

THRESHOLD RESOURCES Integrated supply chain, young and well heeled

employees, wide spread production and

assembly units
THRESHOLD COMPETENCIES Quality, reliability, dealings and relationship

with supplier
UNIQUE RESOURCES Engineering excellence, high quality labor

force,
CORE COMPETENCIES Technology, speed of production, the ultimate

driving machine

Sources of cost efficiency:

Economies of Experience
scale

Cost
Efficiency

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Supply chain Product/Process


design

(Gerry Johnson, Kevan Scholes, Richard Whittington, 2008)

Supply costs:

Supply costs play an important role and can influence the firm in the bigger way. Supply

costs revolves around the raw material supply, production units efficiency etc. Supply

costs can prove to be an important asset where input cost prove to be critically important

for success (Gerry Johnson, Kevan Scholes, Richard Whittington, 2008)

BMW managed its supply costs by setting up manufacturing units at various locations

round the globe namely Germany, USA, South Africa, UK and China wherein they

employed 104000 workers (Gerry Johnson, Kevan Scholes, Richard Whittington, 2008).

This ensured that the supply costs are reduced with assembly units operating more

flexibly and reducing the transportation costs of raw materials

Economies of scale:

Economies of scale play a big part in manufacturing organizations or firms since the need

is to recover the high capital costs through high volume of output.

BMW achieves economies of scale by increasing its production capacity. BMW had the

capability to swing its operations for 60 hours a week during limp demand and whooping

140 hours a week when the demand is at its peak. BMW also had produced an impressive

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1.1 million cars in fiscal year 2003 (Gerry Johnson, Kevan Scholes, Richard Whittington,

2008), thus demoing Economies to scale to gel with its manufacturing units worldwide.

Product/process design:

Product/process design is also a key costs driver. Product design meliorations can help in

labor productivity, better yield and maximum utilization of working capital. Product

design can also be used to gain competitive advantage over its rivals with simple use of

marketing intelligence.

BMW was considered to be the best when it came to product/process design and was

tipped as an engineering excellence. It was highly dependable, influential and lavish.

BMW also restored new and modern technology for its products thus making maximum

utilization of the working capital available.

Experience:

Experience must prove to the key asset of control costs and attaining cost efficiency.

Through experience the firm should generate competitive advantage through the

collective understanding attained by the firm and its unit costs.

The experience curve for BMW is as shown:

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Unit Costs
BM
W

Total units
produced over
time

The unit costs of BMW are supposed to decline due to the gain of cumulative experience

(Gerry Johnson, Kevan Scholes, Richard Whittington, 2008). BMW has been in the

automobile sector since the dusk of the Second World War. With the number of units

produced increasing per year with the setup of new assembly units, there needs to happen

continual reduction of costs in the competitive market situation. This may not provide the

necessary competitive advantage, but is proves to be a threshold capability for survival.

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VALUE NETWORK OF BMW:

Channel Customer
value value
chain chain

Location 1 Design Range of products an


(Assembler) Suppliers

Suppliers

Core location Organizations Price


Pricevariation dependent on the
(Assembler) Suppliers Value Chain

Suppliers
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Location 2 Product design and price acco


Location
(Assembler) Suppliers

Suppliers

It is difficult for a single organization to manage all the value based activities right from

the design of the product to delivering the final product or service to the customer. This

process is generally carried out with the help of a value network. A value network can be

termed as a combination of inter-organizational process that proves beneficial to create a

product or a service(Timmers, 2008).

The value network of BMW is as shown. BMW has various assembly locations as well

as manufacturing units with each assembly unit having its own supplier of raw materials

needed to create a product. Also there exists an internal value chain of the assembly liners

within themselves. The finished product is again reciprocated to the suppliers and

collectively it gives rise to the organizations or the firm’s own value chain. The

organization has its own channel value chain. The channel value chain for BMW is

divided on the basic of design, price and location. BMW offers its potential customers

products ranging from a “Mini” to the higher end “Rolls Royce”. These products are

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priced differently and segmented effectively in response to the target market. BMW also

has price variations according to the locations it is striving in. For example BMW is

priced on a slight lower side in the Asian markets as compared to the UK or US market.

The consumer value chain is based on the channel value chain BMW offers namely price,

design and location.

SWOT analysis of BMW:

Strength:

• BMW is a renowned company with a high position in terms of branding and

gratitude factor.

• BMW is able to sustain its market position lucratively with its hub of exclusive

cars.

• BMW had exceedingly qualified labor force (Gerry Johnson, Kevan Scholes,

Richard Whittington, 2008) that could qualify as a source for gaining competitive

advantage

• BMW used advanced technology for its products that embarked its products

design, quality and price

• BMW had strong relationship with its suppliers which propagated BMW in

maintaining a brawny supply chain management

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Weakness:

• BMW’s overall image was too serious and conventional in comparison with its

competitors

• Low cost products of its competitors

• Overdependence on US and Europe market

Opportunities:

• The increase in number of products sold in spite of the economic downturn

• Use of advanced technology for the products

• Popularity in developing countries like India and China

• Flexibility in development and manufacturing

• Low interest rates

Threats:

• Strong competition in the luxury segment of cars

• Economic downturn

• New entrants in the automobile industry

• Increase in fuel costs

• Rising supply costs e.g. steel

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Critical success factor of BMW:

V
A
L
U
E

CRITICAL SUCCESS FACTOR

Cost of product prevention of price product quality experience Managerial

The above graph is used to identify the critical success factors of BMW. The y-axis represents

the value and the x-axis represents the elements of critical success factor.

According to the graph, the critical success factors for BMW are:

• Product Quality

• Cost of product that justifies product quality

• Experience

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Product quality is an inevitable and distinguishing factor for customer satisfaction. The brand is

identified by its product excellence and cost of ownership. BMW has a status of being number

Uno when it comes to quality, and thus it is one of the critical success factors for BMW. Though

the cost of the product i.e. BMW automobiles is high it evidently justifies this through its product

quality. The experience of BMW in the industry also is a critical success factor for BMW. With

its years of experience it has developed a brand identity for its products and very integrated and

sophisticated supply chain that ensures its products are delivered at the right time and right place.

Key success factors of BMW:


The key success factors thus of BMW can be summarized as

• Business model of BMW

• Technology

• Brand image

• Sustainability

• Helmut Panke, CEO of BMW

Factors that may cause ultimate demise of firm:


• Rising raw material prices and High fuel prices

• Change in customer tastes and preferences

• Decrease in economies of scale

• Extreme rivalry and price wars in the maturity stage

• Stagnation of technology

• Unfavorable currency effects

• Stricter regulatory norms paving way for alternatives like hybrid cars, fuel-cell cars,

electric cars etc.

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• Mobility precincts in emergent urban areas

Probable strategies BMW can restore to redirect profits and to retain endurance for the

future are:

1. Market Development

2. Market Penetration

3. Product Development

4. Restructuring

5. Retrenchment

6. Liquidation

7. Vertical integration

This may help BMW achieve a safer tomorrow and help to sustain its Bmw’ness for years to

come.

References:

Allen, T. (2006, October 17). Retrieved june 7, 2009, from Euro area annual inflation down to

1.7%: http://74.125.153.132/search?

q=cache:1fhKosuEvHsJ:europa.eu/rapid/pressReleasesAction.do%3Freference

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%3DSTAT/06/137%26format%3DPDF%26aged%3D1%26language%3DEN%26guiLanguage

%3Den+average+rate+of+inflation+of+EU+in+2006&cd=2&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=in

Autofacts. (2004). Eurpean Car Market .

CEN. (2006, March 2). BHARAT norms v/s EURO norms. Retrieved September 18, 2009, from

European commitee of standardization: http://www.cen.eu

Copper, I. (2008, August 15). America in recession. Retrieved September 21, 2009, from

Wealthy daily: http://www.wealthdaily.com

Gerry Johnson, Kevan Scholes, Richard Whittington. (2008). Exploring Corporate Strategy.

Pearson Education.

Hejiden, K. (2006). Scenario:The art of Strategic conversation. International studies of

management and Organization .

Hill. (2008). The new change in automobile industry. The Wasignton Post .

Organization, W. H. (2008, July 12). Environmental Pollution. Retrieved September 22, 2009,

from World Health Organization: http://www.who.int

Statistics, D. a. (2009, July 18). Data and Statistics. Retrieved September 20, 2009, from The

world bank: http://web.worldbank.org

Thomas, H. (2007). An analysis of the environmental and competitive dynamics of management

education. Journal of Management Development vol. 26 , 9-21.

Timmers, P. (2008). Creation of value chains. Electronic Commerce , 182-193.

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