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Economic Overview of the Automotive Industry

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Economic Overview of the Automotive Industry

Western International University

ECO 301 Economic Theory

The automotive industry is without a doubt an industry that has massive implications relating to the United States economy as well as affecting every American household. Shifts in the supply and demand of automobiles influence the current and future household purchases. Households must determine what amount of their hard-earned income to allocate to certain necessities. Because most households have a budget, the amount spent on transportation it limited. While most industries have an effect on the economy, the automotive industry has far-reaching implications for most Americans. Not only are the workers affected but the many spin-off jobs created as well as the consumers that must purchase the automobiles manufactured.


The automotive industry is considered elastic. The prices fluctuate depending on supply and demand. For example, when the economy takes a downturn and car sales are down the automakers attach incentives to the purchase of new vehicles to stimulate sales such as interest-free loans, rebates and lowered prices to encourage Americans to purchase their goods. Substitutes are available in the foreign car market. Lower cost, more fuel efficient models are available from many foreign car makers. Policy makers have placed limits on the amount of foreign cars that can be sold in the United States but in recent years the demand is higher so policy makers must respond to that demand. Past statistics tell the story of when fuel prices surge, smaller fuel efficient cars are more in demand. Higher fuel prices cause households to reallocate money from other areas to purchase fuels at higher prices because fuel is needed for transportation to and from work. When fuel prices are higher households begin to cut back on unnecessary trips. Cars are unique in that they are both a necessity and a luxury. Few American households live without some form of transportation. The amount of money spent on the transportation proves whether the automobile is a necessity or a luxury. Higher priced models sell more when the economy is stronger. When the economy is slow lower cost cars are more popular. Transportation as a whole is a necessity. The form of the transportation is what determines if it is a luxury. (Collier, 1981)


The fluctuations in the supply and demand of automobiles have an effect on other industries. One such industry that is affected in a measurable way is the after-market automobile parts industry. When the demand for new automobiles is high the demand for after-market parts is lower. When the demand for new automobiles is low the demand for after-market parts rises. The only explanation is uncovered when looking at individual households. Individual households have a limited amount of money to budget for transportation. If new cars are in high demand the income is higher for individual households. If new cars are not in high demand individual households have less money to budget for transportation. With less money to budget for transportation, individuals are more likely to use after-market parts to make repairs on their existing vehicle rather than purchase a new vehicle when their current vehicle needs costly repairs. The cost to repair a vehicle is far less than the cost to purchase a new vehicle. (Lamonica, 1995)


The automotive industry produces public goods and common resources. For example police and fire rescue vehicles are common resources used for the good of the public. In the situation of police and fire rescue vehicles, they are rival but not excludable. The resource being excludable means that if the fire truck is at one persons house it prevents the truck from being at someone else’s house. The availability is diminished because it is being used by another person. (Mankiw, 2004)


If the automotive industry is looked at from the passenger car aspect, the industry produces private goods that are excludable and rival. The owner can prevent another person from using the vehicle and the owner’s purchase of the vehicle prevents the purchase of that vehicle by another person. (Mankiw, 2004)


The issues of the automotive industry create both positive and negative externalities. On the positive side, the automotive industry creates and externality of an improved economy. Many people benefit from the jobs that are created as well as the benefit of efficient transportation. When the automotive industry is strong there are many spin-off jobs created such as, parts suppliers, restaurants, and other service industries. Not far from where I live a large automotive plant was shut down permanently. The many businesses that were built up around the operation of that plant were


Retailer Of Specialty Coffee And Company Encounters college essay help free: college essay help free

Strategic Challenges Faced by Starbucks – Research Paper – tare Arigbodi

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Strategic Challenges Faced by Starbucks

The assignment focuses on the case of Starbucks Corporation and analyses the strategic challenges that the company encounters. Using knowledge gained from the MN3100 module and relevant academic literature and research done in order understand the organisation, along with relevant concepts and theories the aim is to identify the issues and apply the appropriate theories and models to give suggestions on how Starbucks can tackle these challenges. The analysis will include assessment of the external and internal factors and competitive forces that affect Starbucks, identified using the SWOT analysis model and PORTER’S 5 FORCES model. Then strategic recommendations will be made using the Outside-in and value approaches. In doing so, I have structured my work in the following way. First the essay will start with a brief introduction and company overview of the Starbucks corporation, followed by SWOT analysis and PORTER’S 5 FORCES table of the challenges that I have identified and summarised into bullet points. Then there will be the discussion of the current and recent strategic challenges that Starbucks faces. Then recommendations on how Starbucks can to solve these problems using relevant theories. Finally, I will conclude with a summary key points discussed and possible recommendations.Company OverviewStarbucks Corporation is an American company and coffeehouse chain, it is a premium roaster, marketer, retailer of specialty coffee around the world (Geereddy, N, 2012). It was founded by three partners Jerry Baldwin, Zev Siegl, Gordon Bowker with a vision to educate American consumers about the fine coffee drinking experience. Then in 1987 the chain was sold to the current CEO, Howard Schultz, to be rebranded. The company operates in 68 countries across North America, Europe, Asia, Middle East and Africa and has about 182,000 employees across over 24,000 stores located worldwide. Their products range from premium teas, coffees, fine pastries and a wide selection of treats. Starbucks also sell a selection of tea and coffee products and license their trademarks through other channels that include licensed stores, grocery stores and national food service accounts. Starbucks also markets its products mix with other brand names within its portfolio of companies, which include Teavana, Tazo, Seattle’s Best Coffee, Starbucks VIA, Starbucks Refreshers, Evolution Fresh, La Boulange and Verismo.


The company’s structure is very customer-oriented and its mission statement from the company profile is as follows: “Our mission is to inspire and nurture the human spirit – one person, one cup, and one neighborhood at a time.” Starbucks’ core competencies can be described by their premium product mix of high quality beverages and snacks at accessible locations and affordable prices, along with providing each customer a “Starbucks Experience” through its supreme customer service and a community to share in the coffee drinking experience. Starbucks had total revenue of $19.16 billion (as of 2015) and has maintained a share of 36.7% in the US market with a very strong global market position (Geereddy, N, 2012). Some of Starbucks competitors are COSTA coffee, PRET-A-MANGER, Dunkin Donuts and also independent local coffee shops.StrengthsStarbucks holds a Strong Market Position with a significant geographical presence and 36.7% market share in the United states. Also one of the most recognized brands in the premium coffee segment, (Geereddy, N, 2012).Starbucks has good human resource management; the company has been listed as Fortune Top 100 companies to work for in 2005.Starbucks has achieved customer brand loyalty through the use of loyalty based programs.  Starbucks has also taken advantage of technology efficiently by using Starbucks App which supports their growth every year. (Geereddy, N, 2012).WeaknessesProduct recallsStarbuck although unique have expensive products, especially with economy being sluggish can affect the company.Starbucks has been involved in a number of legal proceedings.Starbucks has an overdependence in the United States market, generates a high percentage of total revenue from the US, which makes it sensitive to prospects of US economy and growth.OpportunitiesWith already successful innovative strategies such as the mobile app, there is opportunity for more technological advancement.Starbucks entry into developing and emerging markets such as Asia, Africa as there is saturation in developed markets.Starbucks can expand their product mix especially recently venturing into tea and fresh juice through the smart acquisition strategy, (Geereddy, N, 2012).ThreatsThe specialty coffee market has become intensively competitive.Starbucks may suffer from significant fluctuations in the market prices of high quality coffee beans. Increased Market SaturationHealth and Wellness trends within the beverage industryForceStrengthBargaining Power of SuppliersWeakLarge variety of coffee suppliersCoffee is not a rare resource/ resources are not rareLow switching costs for StarbucksThreat of Substitute ProductsStrongLow switching costsCustomer brand loyaltyLarge variety of substitute productsBargaining Power of Customers/BuyersStrongLow switching costsLarge variety of substitute productsSmall size of individual buyersCompetitive RivalryStrongStarbucks has a large number of competitors such as McDonalds and also local specialty coffee shops.It’s also easy for a customer to switch from Starbucks to other brands. (Greenspan, R, 2015).Starbucks has a large diversity of rivalsThreat of New EntrantsModerateThe barriers entry into coffee market are not highNew entrants find it difficult to compete against Starbucks due to moderate costs of doing business and supply chain development. (Greenspan, R, 2015).Saturated Coffee IndustryLow switching costs for consumersAccording to a Starbucks website on a post dated December 4th, 2014, published after investor day, Starbucks revealed details of its five-year plan to accelerate profitable growth. The CEO Howard Schultz said “Over the next five years, Starbucks will continue to lean into this new era by innovating in transformational ways across coffee, tea and retail, elevating our customer and partner experiences, continuing to extend our leadership position in digital and mobile technologies, and unlocking new markets, channels and formats around the world. Investing in our coffee, our people and the communities we serve will remain at our core as we continue to redefine the role and responsibility of a public company in today’s disruptive global consumer, economic and retail environments.”


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In attempting to generically research for alternative strategic solutions to InterClean’s human resource problems, Team-C found some plausible best practices which should help align their organizational structure with its goals. The industrial cleaning and sanitation industry is evolving around changing trends and driving forces that are causing InterClean to reassess their competitive advantage of human resource development. InterClean’s recent acquisition of EnviroTech needs an accelerated solution of strategic planning and organizational design involving its management of HR processes. Team-C’s efforts in reviewing and analyzing human capital development alternatives entail the topics of recruitment, diversity, selection, skills sets, training, and HR management techniques within the context of domestic and international settings. These generic benchmarking solutions may help to satisfy InterClean’s marketing agenda for increased market share, 40% profit, and global expansion.


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Strategic Analysis

The environment is what it provides for the company to be survived in the market. Environmental change can be a fatal for organisations, hence, the organization needs to analyse their environment carefully in order to anticipate the environmental change. There are sources of threats such as revolutionary technologies or the entry of new competitors and environmental change can be fatal for organisations (Johnson et al, 2009).


Macro environment analysis

Macro environment is the highest – level layer in the business environment. This consist of factors such as political, economic, social and technological which impact to the organization. Gillespie (2007) identified that there are many factors in the macro-environment that will affect the decisions of the managers of any organization. Tax changes, new laws, trade barriers, demographic change and government policy changes are all examples of macro change. To help analyze these factors managers can categorize them using the PESTEL model (refer to appendices 1).


2.1.1.

Political factors

This may refers to the government policy such as the degree of intervention in the economy. Government alert with the health of the nation as well and restricted areas for smoking, JD Wetherspoon pioneered completely to non-smoking in most of the pub which this could attract family type customer. Government responsible for the economic policy and regulation as well which leads the economic to determine the extent of populations spending power on goods and services and this might bring impact on the hospitality businesses. Government may imposed tax on the good and services such as the value added tax (VAT), and hence businesses like JD Wetherspoon need to pay tax for their businesses (Gillespie, 2007; Hassanien et al, 2010; JD Wetherspoon, 2010). According to Thomas (2009), JD Wetherspoon attacked the Government over its “opportunistic tax grabs”, which it believes are contributing to the demise of the struggling pub sector where the pub industry as a whole is under great pressure and that the costs of taxes and regulations have gone too far.


2.1.2.

Economic factors

According to Hassanien A. et al (2010), economic factors are concerned with fiscal and monetary issues that have a great impact on hospitality businesses. According to the interim report 2010 of JD Wetherspoon PLC, there have been 2 pubs closed down but 17 pubs opened in a total of 775 now. This shows that the economic issues does not affect much of the company to continue expanding. JD Wetherspoon has battled against the smoking ban, recession, above-inflation increases in beer duties and cheap booze offers in supermarkets, which kept drinkers at home (JD Wetherspoon plc, 2009). Jeffs (2008) stated that the economic environment is an evaluation of a countrys statistical data provides an insight into all manner of factors such as inflation rates, consumer spending, unemployment and exchange rates. According the BBC News (2009), the recession hits Wetherspoons sales where else the taxes and regulation faced by the industry had made them increasingly expensive compared drinking at home. And hence, the consumer spending may decrease.


2.1.3.

Social factors

Changes in social trends can impact on the demand for a firms products and the availability and willingness of individuals to work for. Social influences include changing cultures and demographics. The social structure will affect peoples lifestyle and expectation and so will strongly influence their attitudes towards their work and their demand of goods and services (Johnson G. et al, 2009; Hassanien et al, 2010). To follow up the consumer trend, JD Wetherspoon did a series of changes such as offering breakfast to be served in their pubs during day time which cause them to expand their business hours from 7 in the morning. They even strengthened its cider, beer and wine range to offer customers a choice of nine ciders in its outlets across the UK (Morning Advertiser, 2005).


2.1.4.

Technological factors

Hassanien et al (2010) and Evans (2003) both stated that the internet has generated a process of disintermediation and reinters mediation in the hospitality goods and services where technological influences may refer to innovations such as the internet, nano-technology or the rise of new composite materials. In recent year, e-commerce and information technology have given a great impact on the hospitality and tourism industry. Technological factors did affect JD Wetherspoon as well, they set up their own website on the internet by providing information about what are they serving,


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