Market Analysis & Targeting Strategy for the U.S. Automotive Market
crowd-o-moto GmbH - Wintersemester 2015/2016
crowd-o-moto is an online market place for brand-new cars. The company pools car buyers - the crowd - together to increase their bargaining power and get better offers from car dealers. As car dealers compete over the crowd, crowd-o-moto provides a new sales channel and helps dealers to increase their sales. It serves as an intermediary between car dealerships and customers, providing stakeholders with information and statistics aiming to create a transparent market pricing. While the company is already present on the Austrian market, it plans to expand its business to the U.S. market starting in Q1 2016.
Although the company successfully launched its online platform in the beginning of 2015, the U.S. market differs in various dimensions from their current field of expertise. Further, the company’s key success for its launch in Austria lies in its well-established relationships with several strategically important key players such as dealership partners. As a result, the goal of the project was to generate insights about key players and the U.S. market in order to prepare the market entry.
In a first step, due to the market size, an in-depth screening of all states and subsequently a detailed PESTEL analysis determined the states with the most favorable environment to launch the platform. Further, on the basis of information gathered by extensive online research, a ranking of the top eight states was made. Finally, business-specific information about dealerships, potential customers and competitors was gathered and 3 strategic recommendations, based on the obtained insights, were developed: the "Big Player Strategy", the "Key State Player Strategy" and the "Californication Strategy". The outcomes illustrated that California’s environment offers the most promising opportunities, especially considering the company’s size and its little experience within the American market.
California provides the most promising environment to enter the U.S. online market due to ist restricted market size and California’s high technological affinity. By considering the milestones and relevant contacts presented within the commercialization roadmap, crowd-o-moto will have the opportunity to test its innovative platform while keeping the risk of rejection at a minimum. At the same time, the company will be able to build a well-substantiated firm base for its future expansion. This three-stage analysis model led to a commercialization roadmap that was created to give the company a comprehensive picture of the car market in California and its particularities. The commercialization roadmap was based on the strategic recommendation and on insights obtained through expert interviews. The map was created to set and visualize milestones for the market entry and includes all its relevant players, socio-economic trends as well as investor contacts, legal traits and relevant events to attend in order to attract investors and establish valuable contacts.
Mag. Dejan Stojanovic