HUBLER FORD LINCOLN MERCURY SMALL BUSINESS FIELD STUDY
BACKGROUND AND HISTORY
In the current urban and rural setup that we live in, small businesses continue to provide economic hope in our country since over the last few decades this sector has recorded a massive growth both in structure, and income. This sector has also been a major industry player when it comes to creation of jobs and thus eradication of poverty. It is therefore one of the strong forces towards development and innovativeness of the commercial and technological sector.
Lincolns were the last show room products by the Ford Motor Company after the Second World War. They were the lowest volume products of the company that were also highly priced. For this reason there was always no rush in selling the products. One interesting success story about the history of the Lincolns was that, after the Second World War, one of its products was selected to serve as a pace car for the first Indianapolis 500 race (Kelly, p.42).
Mercury, on the other hand was first brought into existence as a “mid-priced Ford Motor corporation division for the 1939 model year”. It only managed to produce and sell its products for four seasons before the Second World War forced it to take a break in its business endeavors (Kelly, 45).
After the war therefore, Ford saw it right to merge the Lincoln and the Mercury division, thus this was the birth of the Lincoln Mercury division. It is quite notable that this move was basically a marketing strategy and also a strategic move towards drawing a line between mercury and Ford since the mercury products and most of its close and recognizable features was still based on Ford (Kelly, 45).
The Lincoln Mercury company’s mission is “to become the world’s leading consumer company for automotive products and services.” Just like all the other companies, the company’s mission statement defines the long-term purpose of the firm spelling out the overall goal. It acts as a guiding factor to the company as well as a aid in the decision making process.
After the merger between the Mercury division and Lincoln, the united division immediately embarked on a mission of creating its own products that could be distanced from Ford, even though some of its products were still based on Ford. The new mercury products were carried over from the earlier models with the major distinguishing feature being the new grille that was introduced on it.
In our current modern society, consumer markets have become very unpredictable. As the markets experience change, consumers become easily frustrated due to the ever-changing demands on their time. Therefore, in such an environment only those firms that can react appropriately by converting these changes into profitable solutions are able to compete effectively. The consumers on their part too have become more informed, flexible and demanding. Therefore, for this reason the markets are frequently being defined and redefined. Companies have gone out defining new markets making them more and more fragmented. As a result, market customization arises whereby different clients are treated differently depending on his or her individual needs. In this competitive world, companies have been pressured to add more value to their products to be able to acquire some effective competitive advantage. For this reason most companies have invested in quality enhancement and innovativeness. Lincoln Mercury has not been left behind in all these. The above mentioned factors are what actually aids in the decision making process when determining the appropriate marketing strategies. In the recent years, the company has launched the “quality campaign” which has been quite successful considering that the company has recorded some commendable amount of success. With the changing times for the company, its marketing strategies are gearing towards attracting those who hate them the most even though the company is known to have one of the worst fuel efficiency records. With this in mind, the company has started a “going green campaign”. In starting this campaign they had an internet advertisement with a picture of an oil well pump. With the global oil crisis, they know they can make this a reality. The advertisement page has the link “go green” which leads you to their website when you click it.
In their webpage, the motor company provides information to their website visitors about the good and bad news concerning their firm. It is notable that the company concentrates a lot on its genuine good side trying to make the people realize that even though they have made mistakes, they have continually served their purpose and promises to be consisted and reliable to satisfy their long term needs.
The Lincoln Mercury division has invested a lot of resources in their marketing campaigns in terms of advertisements. They have invested in sponsoring music concerts and music tours by some of the most popular music stars, endorsing celebrities and public figures, investing in print ads, TV spots and even a reality TV series. In all these, their focus is concentrated on car design and production to grab different markets with different needs depending on age, gender, and social status.
A year ago, Lincoln Mercury made a major announcement that it was adding 12 more suppliers to its business framework, totaling its number to 102 currently. These suppliers are both component and service suppliers that were chosen for both long term and short term relationships. They had also worked towards enhancing consolidation plans with its suppliers identifying new production suppliers fit for sourcing by the end of that financial year.
The company has admitted to be facing serious industry challenges but still, it has embarked on a process of identifying more suppliers for long-term relationships. All this they mentioned as being a long time business strategy that they launched half a decade ago to improve the company’s products and services.
Just like most other motor companies, Lincoln Mercury division majorly distributes its products through networks of distributors. In this line of products, these kinds of distributors are commonly referred to as dealers. In business terms, this is a person who is involved in the business of buying, selling and exchanging. This people are authorized and protected by law to distribute or deliver cars within and outside the country.
Demand is usually determined by the consumer’s income abilities and also his or her demographics. This a very vital factor when considering competition strategies to counter your competitors. The Lincoln Mercury division has embraced a lot of strategies to fight for market share against a number of its competitor’s e.g. Toyota, General Motors, Volkswagen, Honda, Nissan, fiat, Suzuki, Renault, Daimler, Chana automobile, BMW, Mazda, Chrysler, Mitsubishi, Beijing Automotive, Hyundai Kia, PSA, Tata, Dongfeng Motor, FAW, Chery, Fuji, BYD, SAIC, Anhui Jianghuai, Geely, Isuzu, Brilliance, Greatwall, Mahindra, Proton, China National, Volvo, Fujian motor, Kuozui, Porsche, GAZ, Navistar, Paccar, Ashok Leyland, Hebei Zhongxing, Qingling Motor, Paccar, Guangzhou Auto, Navistar, Shannxi Auto, Industry Group, and Chongqing Lifan.
THE AUTOMOTIVE INDUSTRY
This is an industry that is known to design, develop, manufacture, market and sell motor vehicles. It is one of the industrial sectors that are very vital to any economy since they generate a lot in terms of revenue and job opportunities. This is a very competitive industry considering the number of automotive companies that are in existence and the way they intrude into different markets aggressively. Its market also consists of very informed buyer who thereby put a lot of pressure on the industry in terms of quality and customer satisfaction.
Kelly, J. American cars, 1946-1959: Every Model, Year by Year. North Carolina: McFarland &company, Inc., Publishers, 2008.
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