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Critical thinking questions and issues

Recently, the Vice President ("VP") of the Marketing Department at American Motors ("AM"), a fictitious large automobile manufacturing company, studied methods for increasing AM's market share of electric cars. Industry sales figures showed that AM ranked third behind the number of electric cars sold by its two biggest competitors. To better understand the situation, the Marketing VP began to review the marketing strategies used by the competition.

The VP learned that the industry leader, Coyote Motors, produced only red cars for sale in the summer months and only blue cars for sale in the winter months. The VP also learned that Coyote's strategy was based on a survey and research study conducted by Professor Fickle at Wingnut University. The study concluded that people purchasing vehicles were 16% more likely to buy a vehicle when its color matched the time of year. After obtaining this information, the VP tells you to prepare a memo to the VP of Production urging that AM immediately begin matching the colors of vehicles produced to the time of year.

What critical thinking questions and issues might you ask and discuss with the VP of Marketing as you begin to prepare the memo?

Solution Preview

<br>Let's examine the problem by identifying the likely first steps in the analysis. The goal here is, presumably, to sell more cars. [Without stating our goals we're trying to reason critically in a vacuum, without guidance. It wouldn't be unreasonable to suppose the goals ought to be sell more cars/at reasonable prices/that are safer and more reliable/are better for the environment/have more longevity, than cars being sold right now. I suppose you can modify the car color without affecting these other goals, that car color is an independent variable...] To sell more you have to understand the market--the purchasing habits of consumers, what they want, what they like, and, more complexly, what they might like, and understand your product, what sorts of innovations or modifications you might be able to make to satisfy their demands. [Double-check this to see if you think there are prior steps in the analysis]
<br>In the hypothetical customers are 16% more likely to buy a car that matches the time of year; that may mean that they are 16% more likely to pick a blue car in winter (eg) when presented with a choice between a blue car and a ...

Solution Summary

What critical thinking questions and issues might you ask and discuss with the VP of Marketing as you begin to prepare the memo?

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