The Auto Industry : A Global Economic Powerhouse And Juggernaut Of Cultural Influence

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Since it’s inception in the 1900’s, the auto industry has become a global economic powerhouse and juggernaut of cultural influence. In recent decades, the industry has faced various crises and yet has remained one of the most powerful drivers of global economic activity. In the U.S. alone, 1 in every 22 jobs derives from the auto industry (Cutcher-Gershenfeld, J., 2015, para 1). Generally speaking, industry analysts are optimistic about the U.S. market and less so in other markets (Strategy&, 2015, para. 3). In this essay, I complete an environmental scan of the auto industry looking for threats related to demographics, competition, government regulation, cost and availability of material and labor, consumer opinion, and the condition of the global economy. All sources cited are less than one year old. Demographics The auto industry is facing a very subtle shift in consumer demand based on changing demographic preferences. “Consumers appear to be rethinking their long love affair with individual automobile brands and viewing cars more as transportation machines. Although this is not likely to have a major impact on sales volume, it is affecting how much people are willing to pay for automobiles” (Strategy&, 2015, para. 6). Whenever consumers begin viewing a particular product category as a “commodity,” this signals a major threat. In the absence of brand loyalty, consumers inevitably begin weighting their purchasing criteria toward price. This, of course, creates downward
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