Browse Publications Technical Papers 2008-21-0038

“Targeting Consumer Needs in the Perfect Storm: Changing the Automotive Lifestyle” 2008-21-0038

The intersection of changing lifestyles and evolving transportation needs finds smart USA well positioned for launch in 2008 during one of the most competitive periods in U.S. automotive history.
In a zero sum market with new global entrants competing for single points of share, where quality levels have been redefined and fractions of points separate the best from the challengers, lifestyle awareness, innovation and product positioning become the differentiators. Simply adding features has left some with hefty investments and confused consumers. Bigger is not always better. More is not always desirable.
The real opportunity for new entrants to the US market may be defined within niche markets where changing lifestyles allow for the emergence of new segments. Today, smart USA has surfaced as a clear example of right product, right place, right time.
This paper will explore 1) historical factors of OEM market differentiation, 2) emerging changes in consumer habits and life styles in the US market, and 3) smart USA's ability to leverage and capitalize on those changes by introducing a vehicle with a clever balance of safety, comfort, styling, innovation, ecology, affordability and agility. Further exploration into non traditional consumer characteristics including attitude and an open mind vs. traditional measures of age, profession or gender will reinforce a new trend in product and feature positioning.


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