The sun holds immense energy that is yet to be tapped. It is estimated that the suns energy could be able to power 1000times of the worlds desired energy needs. Methods of utilizing this energy being devised could be the solution to all our energy needs, like oil, and could be the gateway to the future. Sol-U-Go is a new automobile manufacturing company that is harnessing solar energy to power their new automobile machines. With the plummeting prices of oil and its environmental pollution, solar power presents itself as the more affordable environment safe alternative. Sol-U-Go automobile company targets the people who are eco-friendly. This car belongs to the lower/medium passenger car segment. It will target two types of buyers; Those buying it for business purposes such as car hire services or as a company fleet because of its low cost of operating and so as to uphold company values such as support of eco-friendly practices. The other target is the consumer market; this is the actual individuals that will own the vehicle. A majority of people interested in buying solar powered cars are in the upper middle class, working; college graduates are concerned about the effects of global warming and how to sustain the environment. This can be very popular with college professors and scientists and those who work in environmental research centres. In terms of gender it would appear that the product is appealing to both genders but when other factors such as physical build of the car the females seem to be a larger target for market of the Sol-U-Go product.
After the demographic analysis we take a look at the psychographics of the product target market. The target consumer is more likely to be interested in going to research seminars and golfing .In most of these trips he may chose to go alone or in the company of one other person. The consumer may not have a large family and should be in his early 30s to mid forties. The family size limit is limited because the solar powered cars do not have a very large car space as it is built to run simply on the suns energy. Sol-U-Go targets Americans and plans on unveiling its new product in every state at the same time. This will be so as to reach as many people as possible.
The SWOT analysis for the Sol-U-Go automobile shows that it will penetrate the market and become a popular brand
The solar powered vehicle by Sol-U-Go manufactures is eco-friendly. It is environmentally safe as it is a non pollutant that provides a chance of reduced carbon emissions by vehicles. The gas fuelled cars lead to air pollution in cities and degrade the O Zone layer. It has fuel efficiency as it has been proposed for a model that can run strictly on one battery charged by solar that could last for 100kms (Club, 2010).It can reach its target market easily especially because it has elegant interiors and it has been developed in a small size to increase surface area covered by a solar panel thus increasing efficiency. The other strength is mostly on good branding and advertising the popularity of the product seems to be in an all time high following the marketing strategies employed. Another strength is that seeing as the vehicles continuously charge themselves as you drive they do not create a need to take a pit stop while travelling, They also have been known to have a lot of endurance and can reach very high speeds.
The product is not with its weaknesses, in as much as it saves on costs of transporting, separating fuels and mining the solar powered car is still relatively expensive to manufacture and purchase. The cost of solar cells is still very high and the cost of installation of cells to trap and convert this solar energy is high also. The mechanics and electrical manufacturing of this car is going to be expensive. This rise in manufacturing cost also places a higher cost in product purchase. However it is important to note that after purchase the operating cost for the car model are very minimal. Another weakness faced is the lack of easily available spare parts for the cars. Being a new product it may not be easily understood by the layman mechanic and the spare parts for the vehicle may not be readily available in the market.
Solar powered automobiles can gain collaborations with the other automobile entities in business. The can also work with other companies to create a hybrid that functions on both solar and electrical energy. It can also be used to harness solar power for free of charge. It eliminates the need for fueling centre’s and gas stations.
Some of the things that appear as threats include; the high initial purchase costs may deter buyers from purchasing the product. The vehicle is also made very light making it uncomfortably hot to stay in. The material it is made of does not offer much protection to a driver in case of a crash (Club, 2010). Another threat is with the advancement of technology newer models from competitors may come up.
One of the greatest competitor for Sol-U-Go automobiles is the Toyota Prius; a hybrid vehicle that is not powered by solar energy but rather through electricity. This hybrid boasts of being Eco- friendly and it appeals to the same demographic target market as does the solar powered vehicle (Ahmed, p.23). The Prius is already established in the market and is more likely to do better in terms of sales and distribution worldwide with Sol-U-Go only entering into the automobile industry. Other competitors do not pose a very high threat and they include
How Best to Position Product
Product positioning is an important part of a new product. Product positioning helps target consumers determine why they want to purchase your product. It has been defined as the method of winning the hearts and soul of the target consumer. To product position the solar powered automobile market segmentation needs to be conducted. After which the target market will be defined as its product attributes are identified. The solar powered car is then placed in its space as an eco-friendly vehicle and energy conserving product. So as to reach to the minds of consumers advertising of the product will be largely on its benefits and why everyone should get one even if they are not eco-conservation enthusiasts.
The company will conduct a survey in America so as to determine the strength of the target market and how to penetrate it. For the survey, polls will be taken in research companies and major cities to determine the views of locals on use of solar energy. The survey will also be conducted in men and women aged between late twenties and mid forties to determine whether they would buy the solar powered automobile, if yes why and if not what are some of the improvements that could be made so as to make the car appeal to them as consumers. The survey could also be conducted on the company website online so as to get feedback from all over the world (Weir, 2010).The survey will be through interviews on a one on one basis for the professionals targeted. Questionnaires’ can also be distributed to individuals as well as be put up on the website. The locals can be placed in focus groups so as to maximize on time allocated for the survey. It should be done after a week of approval by board at the company and should last for duration of one month .This survey will help to dictate the marketing strategy to be employed.
The solar powered automobile will first be introduced into the American market as this is where it is manufactured and distribution costs are affordable for the company in its initial stages. Also the launch was selected for America because the survey conducted proved that a great percentage of Americans are eco-conservationists and many products that are eco-friendly are more easily welcomed following creation of green cities that have whole foods and green world. The survey showed that a regular at any of the two stores was much more likely to buy a solar powered eco-friendly car than buying a carbon emitting gas fueled auto mobile. The next target market will be in the Middle East. The Arabs and the Persians have a taste for stylish, expensive vehicles. The high cost of the vehicle would not burden the consumers in this region as surveys conducted has shown that it is one of the major importers of expensive and high end vehicles This car would be perfect in terms of geography and climate. The temperatures and sun exposed in this region is very high. This would then allow the car to charge continuously and retain charge for longer periods.
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Club, A. E. (2010). Improving solar powered cars. solar powered cars .
weir, J. b. (2010). Survey Report. Account Planning .