Tag Archives: manufacturing

Top Car Brands for 2022

The automotive industry is notoriously tough. Considering that an automotive purchase is among a consumer’s most important buys, are purchases that are high-impact and high-involvement, and that there are hundreds of different choices, each sale is important.

Manufacturers compete for not only sales, but also for top rankings by organizations such as J.D. Powers, Car & Driver, and Edmund. Among the most popular ranking reports on vehicles is the one done for consumers by independent testing organization, Consumer Reports.

To compile the report, the team at Consumer Reports test drives and evaluates multiple attributes of more than 250 different vehicles. To be a top tier pick, the cars must score well in road tests, crash tests, owner satisfaction, and have better predicted reliability. Key safety features are also important. Top picks must have forward collision warning and automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection. These are safety features which have been proven to save lives.

This year six Japanese brands are among the top-10: Subaru, Mazda, BMW, Honda, Lexus, Audi, Porsche, Mini, Toyota, and Infiniti.

  • Best overall, best overall mainstream, best road test score mainstream, and best road test score overall: Subaru
  • Best reliability: Mazda
  • Best American overall: Buick
  • Worst overall: Jeep
  • Worst road test score: Mitsubishi

The top EV pick this year is the electric Ford Mustang Mach-E, a first-year electric vehicle with a base price of $44,000. The Ford EV beat out Tesla as being more reliable, practical, quieter, and less complicated than Tesla Model 3.

Among U.S. manufacturers are Buick as the highest-charting brand (in 11th place), followed by Chrysler (13th), Dodge (16th). Dead last on the list was Jeep which had significant reliability issues with its Gladiator pickup truck.

This year’s winners by category include:

  • Electric vehicle: Ford Mustang Mach-E
  • Small SUV: Subaru Forester
  • Midsized sedan: Honda Accord
  • Compact pickup truck: Honda Ridgeline
  • Subcompact SUV: Nissan Rogue Sport
  • Two-row SUV: Toyota RAV4 Prime
  • Three-row SUV: Kia Telluride
  • Luxury midsized SUV: Lexus RX
  • Small car: Nissan Sentra
  • Hybrid: Toyota Prius

Did your vehicle make the list?

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Show Consumer Reports’ rankings: https://www.consumerreports.org/media-room/press-releases/2022/02/mainstream-auto-brands-beat-luxury-names-in-cr-2022-rankings/
  2. Show the video of car rankings: https://youtu.be/wQ_fHOmo0aY
  3. Discuss how companies can use the report in their marketing.
  4. What should companies that didn’t make the top list do to promote their vehicles?
  5. Review key aspects of developing a product positioning map, including determining the axis labels for positioning.
  6. Divide students into teams and have each team develop a positioning map for a category of automobiles.

Source:  Best cars of the year: 10 top picks of 2022. Consumer Reports.

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What Trends are in Store for us in 2022?

Marketers need to be able to monitor trends with an eye towards predicting what consumers will want next. While it is hard to predict the future, we can examine the current environment with respect to what might happen next.

In its yearly predictions report, international research firm Euromonitor forecasts what consumers will want and need. Companies then can use these predictions to consider the strategies that they might pursue.

Lifestyles in 2021 made radical shifts as populations continued to be impacted by the pandemic. To no one’s surprise, COVID-19 and the Omicron variant continue to be very important to the immediate future.  Marketers and businesses must evolve quickly to keep up with new demands.

Ten  predictions for consumers in 2022 include:

  1. Rethinking the supply chain.
  2. Climate change – a low-carbon world.
  3. Senior citizens and their digital adoptions and usage.
  4. Controlling personal finances.
  5. Prioritizing personal values and individual goals.
  6. The metaverse moves to reality.
  7. Increasing adoption of second-hand and peer-to-peer marketplaces.
  8. City dwellers want advantages of living outside of cities.
  9. The importance of self-care and happiness.
  10. The hybridization of being social.

These trends provide guidance for companies and marketers. Using these, we can gain insight into consumer values and behavior. If 2021 was a year that required us to be adaptable and resilience, then what does 2022 indicate?

What trends will impact you?

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. The full Euromonitor report can be accessed at: https://go.euromonitor.com/white-paper-EC-2022-Top-10-Global-Consumer-Trends.html?utm_source=WSJ&utm_medium=article&utm_campaign=CT_22_01_18_WP_Top%2010%20GCT%202022%20EN
  2. Discuss the importance of environmental scanning and conducing SWOT analysis.
  3. Show the Euromonitor report to students.
  4. Divide students into teams.
  5. Have each team select one of the top 10 trends and prepare a discussion for the class.
  6. What industries and companies will be most impacted by that trend?
  7. What should marketers do to address the trend?

Source: Alcantara, A-M., (January 17, 2022). Ten trends that will shape the way we shop, eat and live this year, Wall Street Journal; Euromonitor International (January 18, 2022), Top 10 global consumer trends 2022.

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Peloton Recalls Treadmills

Peloton has been riding high for the past year as gyms closed and people took their fitness routines into their homes. Peloton stock and sales are at an all-time high. To be clear though, high sales volume has given the company problems with supply chain and manufacturing during this time period. It even has a recall due to problems with broken pedals on its bikes which caused injuries.

However, a more recent and critical problem for Peloton has been a number of cases of injury to adults, children, or pets being pulled underneath the rear of the treadmill. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), there have been at least 72 reports of adults, children, and pets being pulled under the treadmill, including 29 reports of injuries to children and one death of a six-year-old child. Serious issues indeed.

The recall notice was issued by Peloton, but only after an urgent warning from the CPSC that forced the company to change its initial stance about the problems. Peloton is now offering a full refund for owners of the treadmill.

What should companies due about hazards to consumers?

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Discuss the components of public relations and crisis communications.
  2. Show video about the problem: https://youtu.be/RiAjg4RXLMQ
  3. View Peloton’s statement on its website: https://www.onepeloton.com/press/articles/tread-and-tread-recall
  4. Show the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission recall notice for Peloton: https://www.cpsc.gov/Recalls/2021/peloton-recalls-tread-plus-treadmills-after-one-child-died-and-more-than-70-incidents
  5. Show additional recall notice for a separate Peloton recall: https://www.cpsc.gov/Recalls/2021/peloton-recalls-tread-treadmills-due-to-risk-of-injury
  6. What are the basic components and steps to handle crisis communications?
  7. How did Peloton initially handle the problems? What did they later do?
  8. Divide students into teams and have each team select a company/product. Then, have teams determine the steps to take during a crisis for that company.

Source: CBS; CNBC; New York Times; other news sources

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