Swagster is a hybrid motorcycle cruiser that utilizes very little gas compared to the gas driven motorcycles. The cost of gas continues to increase, in most states in the United States in January 2011, the cost of gas is over $3.00 per gallon. According to the U.S. Energy Information (2011) the current cost for gas is about $90.30 per gallon which is high and it will continues to increase. The price of gas is one of the two biggest reasons for the high demand for hybrid transportation. Many scientist, environmentalist and concerned individuals are seeking transportation that is more environmentally friendly. Hybrid cars utilize far less gas, which is cheaper and better for the environment. Less carbon monoxide is released in the air, and fewer natural resources are utilized with hybrid transportation. According to the EPA today's motorcycle produce more harmful emission than a large sport utility vehicle (EPA, 2003). In this paper I will detail a marketing plan for the Swagster motorcycle, which is new to the market and owned by a small company.
Current Marketing Situation
Over the last decade there have been a few hybrid motorcycles introduced to the market, however the performance of these motorcycles do not compare to the performance of an average gas powered motorcycle. There is a definite gap in the market, a need for a hybrid motorcycle that operates at the same power level as the pure gas driven motorcycles on the market. The continued upward trend of gas prices is also creating a demand for motorcycles that require less gas fuel. The growing concern about the environment is demanding more hybrid transportation. According to Buche (2008) consumers in this new millennium are looking for products that are green, therefore eco-friendly products are the more marketable.
The target population for the Swagster motorcycle is middle aged to early old age men (40-60 years). Motorcycle customers are looking for different key elements when purchasing a motorcycle. Some of the most important things customers are looking for are speed, acceleration power, miles per gallon, safety and horse power. These are all important features of a motorcycle. The best competitive advantage the Swagster has to offer in the market is that the Swagster is a leader in most of these areas. Many of the other hybrid bikes have neglected some of these features, which create the perfect opportunity for Swagster to become the top selling motorcycle in 2011. According to Buche (2008) although women are only a small percentage of motorcycle users, women are the ones controlling the spending in most household and they are looking for eco-friendly products. There are many tax incentives for eco-friendly transportation (Newswire, 2010).
The Swagster is a new eco-friendly motorcycle cruiser that will be introduced by the Swagster Company. This motorcycle was designed to utilize much less gas, and provide the individual and the environment with a lot of benefits. It decreases the amount of pollution that is released into the air, because of the lesser gas consumption and eco-friendly parts. The Swagster has a 1500 cc engine that is liquid cooled with dual overhead cams. This motorcycle can go as fast as 240 miles per hour, currently the fastest motorcycle on the market is the Asphaltfighters Stormbringer, which can go 220 miles per hour, with a 200-mile range/charge. It is fuel injected and shaft driven with a 6 gallon fuel tank. It has a light weight aluminum frame and aluminum alloy wheels. There are three colors to choose from Carolina Blue, Duke Blue and NC State Red. The Swagster has the sleek look of a custom chopper with the reliability, precision build and has comforts that no other motorcycle offers.
The Swagster operates similarity to the current hybrid cars that are on the market. The Swagster's electric motor can handle torque demands during acceleration, speed and passing. The internal combustion engine charges and recharges the battery, which allows the hybrid motorcycle to utilize less fuel by utilizing more electricity. The combustion engine also facilitates the motorcycle cruising, with low power. The Swagster has all the same capabilities as any other motorcycle on the market currently and has some additional capabilities, such as cruise control and internal global positioning system (GPS). The Swagster is a promise of what the new millennium offers.
The e-cycle is one of the first hybrid motorcycles that were introduced. It was designed to capture the attention of the individuals who are looking for a motorcycle that was eco-friendly and would cost less in fuel (Mahoney, 2007). This motorcycle was designed to be low cost and to attract more customers to hybrid motorcycles. The top speed for the e-cycle is 80 miles per hour, with a 25-mile range/charge. The e-cycle is a very small bike comparatively to the Swagster, which give much more mileage range/charge and top speed is much faster.
The biggest competitor for Swagster is the Harley-Davidson line of motorcyles. This is a well-known brand that is reputable, and offers great service. Customers have been using this brand of motorcycle for years and know exactly what the Harley-Davidson company has to offer. In 2010 the company was very successful, and sales were high. Harley-Davidson has a wide range of motorcycles, ranging from low prices to higher prices. There are many options for customers and many different features on the different bikes that can meet the different demands of their customers. The company is starting off the New Year (2011) giving customers a 20% discount on all the parts and merchandise (The Plymouth Evening Herald, 2010). Harley-Davidson has a competitive advantage in the market since they are known for making bikes that can perform well even in the worse weather (The Western Morning News, 2010). This is a major competitive advantage for the company since during winter seasons and bad weather motorcycle sales drastically decline. The Harley-Davidson Electra Glide CVO Ultra Classic is going to be the most competitive motorcycle for the Swagster, it is not a hybrid but offers similar features and horse power (Motorcyle.com, 2010).
The Suzuki brand is another brand that is very popular in North America. They are known for their off road vehicles such as motorcycles. According to Beintema (2008) Suzuki continues to grown and gain brand recognition with people in America. Suzuki target people who are life enthusiast and they offer a line of affordable motorcycles. The Suzuki bikes are affordable and have fairly good brand recognition as well.
Swagster's competitive review has shown them that their biggest competition is Harley-Davidson. This company has the most significant brand recognition for motorcycle sales. There are other companies that have motorcycles with great brand recognition, such as Suzuki, BMW, and other companies. Harley-Davidson is known for their motorcycle quality and they have highest sales record in 2010 in the United States of America.
The owner and creator of Swagster (Jim Matthis) was a previous employee of Harley-Davidson. He has a wide range of knowledge about the operation of Harley-Davidson, their business direction and their products. Jim was an engineer at Harley-Davidson so he is extremely familiar with the products. He is responsible for creating several of the Harely-Davidson bikes that are on the road today. Having a working knowledge about the competitor's business plan is a great asset to the Swagster Company. Jim is aware that Harley-Davidson currently has the biggest market share in the sector. The company's goals are to be the biggest seller of motorcycles throughout the world, with worldwide brand recognition.
Jim feels that it is a competitive advantage that he has a working understanding about the competitor. He knows that the Harley-Davidson company is trying to create a bike with the capacity like the Swagster. They currently have some hybrid bikes; however their performance is nothing that can compare with the Swagster. Jim knows the goals of his competitors and the direction in which they are heading.
The Harley-Davidson company has a much bigger bank account than the Swagster Company. They can spend much more money on marketing, engineering and designing. The Harley-Davidson company will certainly see the Swagster Company as a threat and invest more money in marketing and designing. Having the inside knowledge about how the Harley-Davidson company operates will be beneficial for the Swagster company.
The Swagster has only been introduced to the market on January 1, 2011. This is a new product to the market, so there is limited customer review. The Swagster Company has given away five bikes once they were ready for usage back in October. Those customers were asked to give their feedback in exchange for a free bike. The customers will be at some of the road shows and their accounts of owning the bikes were documented. So far there is a high level of customer satisfaction and great product reviews.
The Swagster Company is saving money by retailing their motorcycles through the Toyota dealerships. The Swagster Company has set up an…