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General Motors is a leading automobile company that is a dominant player in the automobile industry. Tao (2005) demonstrated that the entry into China by General Motors (GM) was a gamble, given the high prevalence of casualties. However, in 2004, GM sales rose by 27%. Overall, by 2004, the market share held by GM had risen to 10% (Tao, 2005).
The possession of high-level technology is a strength that the GM Company possesses. Besides, GM has an expansive outlay of resources, which are used to back its activities, such as technology transfer. The company also has a global presence, which gives it an extra edge. Other strengths include a vision and working strategy, strong brand portfolio and presence in China, knowledge about the Chinese market, in addition to well performing automobile brands. However, GM has weaknesses that can derail its push for a greater market presence. These weaknesses include running a high cost structure, diluted brands, car recalls and bureaucratic culture.
Some of the opportunities available to the company are listed below. GM holds a positive attitude on ‘green’ vehicles, fuel prices are rising, customer needs are changing, and there is a possibility to expand through the acquisition strategy. In order to progress, the company must overcome a number of threats. The threats include unstable fuel prices, rising environmental pollution, increase in prices of raw materials, intense competition and fluctuating exchange rates. Higher interest rates and stringent credit requirements present obstacles to the company’s attempts to expand its market share. The case also demonstrates that price wars affected GM’s performance, as witnessed by the decline in growth rates of the market share. The position is held in reference to the finding that the company had registered 46% rise in sales in 2003. From the case, it is apparent that despite the rise in sales, Volkswagen remained the market leader, having retained roughly 25% of the market shares.
The technology industry is highly competitive. For instance, in 2010, Android-operated tablets were introduced into the market (Yoffie & Rossano, 2012). Thus, it was not surprising that by 2011, Android-based tablets enjoyed up to 38% of the market shares. Apple Company had three notable challengers: Google, Amazon and Microsoft. It is also noted that Samsung was a major competitor in the tablet segment. A particular concern for Apple is that Samsung has matched the product specifications of its tablets. Besides, Samsung has gone a step further to make its products more user-friendly. In the case of Google and other players, the lower prices are a threat to Apple’s position in the market.
Creating a sustainable competitive advantage is among the best resources of the organization. Based on the Resource-Based View (RBV), resources are critical in creation of a competitive edge. Reference to resources covers both tangible and intangible assets under the ownership of a firm, which can be used to devise and implement strategies. The RBV is premised on two assumptions: that resources vary among organizations and those resources/ assets at an organization’s disposal cannot be easily acquired by other entities. The implication is that the possession of given assets allows a business to occupy a vantage position to outperform the competing firms. However, the most important part is that competitors are not in a position to compete because they lack the resources to pose a challenge.
Drawing from the RBV theory, for a firm to dominate a market or industry, the possession of exclusive resources is necessary. The above discussion demonstrates that other firms, such as Samsung, Google, Amazon and Microsoft are competing by producing the same products. Besides, the competitors have resources, such as a global presence. In this regard, it is held that the sustainability of the Apple company’s dominant position is under a threat.
The Walt Disney
The Walt Disney (WD) Company is one of those comppanies that stared dismemberment before undergoing a major transformation to register rarely matched levels of success. The WD’s primary businesses are movie and TV activities. The company produced shows covered by network television besides launching a Disney Channel. When the Disney Sunday Movie took the ABC airwaves, the company gained much popularity than it was initially anticipated. In addition, the firm worked on the release of Golden Girls, which was a hit on NBC. Other major shows were the Regis & Kathie Lee and Siskel & Ebert at the Movies (Ruckstad & Collins, 2009). In addition, syndication operations were sold to independent television stations.
When Eisner took over, the DW Company’s movie business was not doing well. Although, events were looking bad, soon after assuming leadership, Eisner oversaw work on the Down and Out in Beverly Hills movie, which proved a major turning point for this category of business.
The company used the acquisition strategy in acquiring the ABC. In this case, the form of diversification strategy employed by WD is horizontal integration, which involves the acquisition of firms or businesses dealing in the same line of activities.
Eisner believed that the creation of synergies was necessary in the pursuit of the organization’s goals. The Disney Dimensions program was behind the synergy enjoyed at the company. Described as the synergy boot camp, the meeting process allowed senior company executives to deliberate on the ways to take the company forward. The entity also had synergy groups which reported directly to Eisner. The group worked in through a liaison process, leading to harmony in business strategies.
Through horizontal processes, the WD entity entered new business ventures, such as entertainment. In particular, it developed new venues within the US which were accessible via ESPN (Ruckstad & Collins, 2009). The company also engaged in vertical processes which bordered on using the internet and television. Using the Internet, a company could distribute its products more easily.
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