A Broken Place: The Spectacular Failure Of The Startup That Was Going To Change The World

With almost $1 billion in funding and ambitions to replace petroleum-based cars with a network of cheap electrics, Shai Agassi’s Better Place was remarkable even by the standards of world-changing startups. So was its epic failure. A 21st-century cautionary tale.

Hyundai’s Capabilities Play

The Korean automaker’s explosive growth in the last few years—achieved through better quality, stylish design, and clever marketing—has made it a dynamic player in the U.S. auto industry.

How General Motors Lost Market Focus – And Its Way

When does having too many brands and too many variations of those brands create a perilous situation? The answer is that when you are an American icon, once thought too big to fail, and that never ever thought it should modify, let alone re-consider trimming, its portfolio of offerings. On the verge, General Motors illustrates why building an offering for every market segment may make … [ Read more ]

VW in China: Running the Olympic Marathon

Will Volkswagen’s “Olympic” program help it reassert its advantage in China?

Getting to Win-Win: How Toyota Creates and Sustains Best-Practice Supplier Relationships

Across the automotive industry and around the globe, Toyota ranks as suppliers’ preferred OEM-the one with which they would most like to do more business. Yet Toyota is also known to be extremely demanding of its suppliers and rigorous in its insistence on openness and highly disciplined processes. The authors outline the principles and practices that Toyota employs to win its suppliers’ extraordinary performance-and loyalty. … [ Read more ]

Skoda Leaps to Market

A Communist car monopoly turned Volkswagen subsidiary is now becoming an entrepreneurial global enterprise.

Delphi Builds a Board

CEO J.T. Battenberg III was determined his directors be not just independent, but engaged.

Balanced Sourcing the Honda Way

At first glance, what Honda of America does to develop its products, sustain its supply base and manage its purchasing function seems little different from what most other car makers do. But the results that Honda achieves are often remarkably superior.

How Snap-on Tools Ratchets Its Brand

The way to create a world-class brand is to give customers what they need, when they need it, and never let them out of your sight.

Volvo-Scania: Mergers and Competition Policy

Business mergers tend to have fairly dicey odds of success. Failure rates are generally reported to be roughly 50%; poor culture fit or difficulties aligning systems to create inefficiencies tend to stand out as culprits. But a closer look at the economics of mergers reveals that the motivations of corporations, among them increasing market power, can be in direct conflict with the rules … [ Read more ]

Guangzhou Honda Automobile Co., Ltd. – Honda’s Entry into the Chinese Car Market

When Peugeot pulled out of its partnership with the Guangzhou Automobile Group in 1997, it left behind slow sales, a decrepit factory filled with 20-year-old equipment, and 1,600 exasperated employees. In this new Case Study, Professors Philippe Lasserre and Ming Zeng, and Hiromi Hinata tell how Honda turned this picture around.

Renault and Nissan – A Marriage of Reason

The automotive industry has changed radically in the past twenty years. In the 1980s, Japanese firms dominated, but today they’ve lost ground to multi-nationals. The new shape of the industry brings difficulties and opportunities alike. Using the 1999 Renault-Nissan union as their example, the authors ask you to consider the challenges of cross-border acquisitions and alliances.

iMotors: New Competition in Used Cars

iMotors offers customers the chance to custom-order used cars online, all for low, low prices. But can its business plan deliver profitability? And how will it sustain its advantages in the face of growing competition? Professor Ron Adner and Charles Nunn ask you to consider the management’s next steps in this case study.

How Harley Davidson Revs its Brand

Harley-Davidson has been able to build a community of enthusiasts around its brand that includes members from very diverse groups, and with almost no advertising. How does the king of heavyweight motorcycling keep its fans so loyal? It gives them a reason to “belong.”

Conceptual Re-engineering at Nissan

Robert J. Thomas, president and chief executive at Nissan, took time out to asses what he knew about the car business and where it is going. The result has been a radical rethinking of the business. Nissan is now in the midst of a major sea of change, entailing an internal shift from a business with a manufacturing mind-set to a marketing-oriented company that puts … [ Read more ]