Analysis of Auto Industry/Specific Manufacturer

Research Paper
For your research paper, you are to select an automobile manufacturer. You will write each of the three sections about the same manufacturer. Please see the assignment for an outline of my expectations. Recall, that your document is to be written in APA format with appropriate citations. Please use one inch margins, 12 point font, and Times New Roman

Research Paper Submission and Guidelines
1. Industry Analysis
Remember, this is an industry analysis not a company analysis. Therefore, limit the amount of specific company (organizational) information.

A. Basis description of the industry. Will include, as a minimum:
1. The nature of the product or service
2. Information about customers and channels of distribution
3. Size of the industry (sales)
4. Geographic location of the industry
5. Profit trends
6. Competitive nature of the industry
B. Factors that influence demand. These factors may cause demand to increase or decrease. For each factor that you discuss, indicate whether it will cause demand to increase or decrease. You should demonstrate an understanding of why customers buy the product or service (e.g., customer service, quality, cost to name only a few). Also include:
1. The functions served by the product/Why customers buy the products or services
2. Stage of the product life cycle
3. Economic trends
4. Demographic trends
5. Social/cultural trends
6. Political trends
7. Technological trends
8. Programs developed by companies in the industry (new marketing programs, new distribution channels, etc.)
9. Pricing actions/trends (how do competitors us price as a competitive weapon, etc.)
C. Factors that influence cost structures and profitability
1. Stage of the product life cycle. (Stage of the product life cycle affects pattern of investment, cash flows, and profitability.)
2. Competitive environment. Thoroughly analyze and discuss Porter’s Five Forces of Industry Competition. Explain effects on costs and profitability.
3. Cost drivers. Describe the major cost drivers or identify what contributes to the price a company must charge for its product or service (e.g., labor, material, manufacturing). Give percentages or other data if available. Also, discuss the value chain as it relates to cost.
D. Opportunities in the industry. Using your analysis of the industry, prepare a thorough list of opportunities in the industry. For example, weak competitive rivalry would be an opportunity in the industry. Be sure to explain why each is an opportunity for the industry. Examples may include:
1. Serving additional customer groups/expanding into new markets
2. Expanding the product line
3. Integrating forward or backward
4. Complacency among rival firms
5. Strong increase in market demand
6. Favorable demographic, social, cultural, technological trends
E. Threats in the industry. Using the industry analysis completed to this point, prepare a thorough list of threats in the industry. For example, a strong competitive rivalry would be a threat in the industry. Be sure to explain why each is a treat to the industry. May include:
1. Entry of lower-cost foreign competitors
2. Rising sales of substitute products
3. Slower market growth
4. Adverse shifts in foreign exchange rates or trade policies
5. Adoption of new governmental regulations affecting the industry
6. Strong bargaining power of customers or suppliers
7. Changing buyer needs or tastes
8. Adverse demographic, social, cultural, technological trends

2. Organizational analysis

A. Basic description of the company. Include in your discussion the following:
1. The company’s mission. How has the mission evolved over time?
2. Characteristics of the company – culture, size in sales, number of employees, total assets, geographical locations, age
3. The company’s pattern of past objectives and strategies. How successful has the company been with its chosen strategies?
B. Financial analysis will include:
1. Financial ratios will be calculated in this section. Other financial analysis may also be appropriate. Include financial trends.
2. Ratios must be compared to industry averages.
3. Don’t just list the ratios, explain what they mean.
4. Financial analysis may help you to identify strengths or weaknesses, which may be discussed in this section or the next.
C. Strengths. A thorough review of company strengths should be developed. May include (examples):
1. Adequate financial resources
2. A good reputation
3. Being the recognized market leader
4. Economies of scale
5. Proprietary technology
6. Product innovation and development skills
7. Proven management
D. Weaknesses. A thorough list of company weaknesses should be developed. May include (examples):
1. Lack of strategic direction
2. Obsolete facilities
3. Poor profitability because of
4. Lack of managerial talent
5. Too narrow a product line
6. Inadequate product innovation and development
7. Poor financial resources

3. Recommendations

Recommendations must reflect your industry and organizational analysis. Provide a set of recommendations based on your analysis, especially the SWOT analysis. Your recommendations must address the opportunities, threats, strengths and weaknesses of your analysis. Prioritize the opportunities, threats, strengths, and weaknesses that you identified. Address them in descending order in this section, addressing the most important first and in the greatest detail. Recommendations should capitalize on opportunities and strengths and minimize threats and weaknesses. Provide a justification for each recommendation. In some cases, you may choose not to take advantage of an industry opportunity. If this is the case, defend your decision.

Be certain your recommendations are reasonable (that the company could do them) and make sense. Discuss how your recommendations should be financed. You may want to give a schedule (time frame) for implementation of your recommendations.

You are expected to utilize a minimum of 10 external references, 5 of which must be non-internet references. This report should be no less than 6 pages.