smart car; Should Mercedes rethink its ambitions in the small-car segment and what are the chances that the "smart" car will be a commercial success and ,finally, can the "smart" car sustain a competitive advantage in the competitive microcar market The paper would end with strategy based marketing recommendations to make MCC's strategic process of strategic choice and analysis with in organizations in relation to its competition. The paper also takes a theoretical look at strategy making within the marketing function in the smart car before making the above referred recommendations.
Swiss watch making is recognized by one brand name: Swatch. Swatch made it possible for the Swiss watch industry to emerge out of a bankruptcy threatening recession in the 1970s, when over-confident manufacturers stuck to old technology ignoring the impact of new quartz technology which had allowed cheap, accurate watches from the Far East to capture the market. Swatch has traversed substantial distance since its formation in 1983, when the two Swiss largest watchmakers, ASUAG and SSIH, realized that under the onslaught of the new technology they were facing liquidation. Some of the prestigious brands such as Longines, Omega and Tissot, owned by these two watch makers, became ideal targets for foreign acquisition. The two companies panicked and decided to join hands and invited Nicolas Hayek, CEO of the business consulting firm Hayek Engineering, to organize the strengthening exercise. Hayek brought about one of the most amazing turn arounds in business health through his two pronged strategy in the face of fierce criticism. He amalgamated the two companies to form SMH (the company changed its name to Swatch in 1998); the Hayek Pool - Hayek himself and partners from Swiss industry - took over the majority of the shares, and Hayek became CEO. Then he radically altered the production lines and marketing. The now well known plastic Swatch watch was launched in the Swiss market in 1983, with 12 models with a price range narrowly defined between 39 and 50 francs. The basic product design was simplified from over 90 components to just 51 components, and remarkably all components could be welded together by robots on a single assembly line - the first on Swiss watch manufacturing landscape. This reduced skilled labour cost to almost naught as a proportion whereas in contrast in traditional Swiss watch making, the same cost used to account for as much as 10 % or more of cost of finished product. This made Swatch highly competitive in world markets. To add simplification and rationalization of production was the marketing ingenuity of Hayek. Hayek has ensured that strategic marketing plays an