Marketing Currents - Business and Marketing Current Events

Carmakers are struggling to make electric vehicles affordable for pinched consumers—and rethinking their investments amid sagging demand

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After years of pumping cash into the sizzling electric-vehicle market, Tesla Inc. and other major automakers are facing a new dilemma: what to do when demand chills.

Click here to read the story at fortune.com.

Discussion Questions:

  1. What is supply and demand?
  2. Why is supply and demand important in business?
  3. Why has the demand for electric vehicles declined?
  4. How much influence do you think marketing had on the increased demand for electric vehicles?
  5. What happens to car dealers when demand declines?
  6. What is a niche market?
  7. What type of consumer is a “luxury buyer”?
  8. What type of consumer is an “early adopter”?
  9. Initially, EV buyers were mostly luxury buyers and early adopters. Does that mean EVs have largely been a niche market?
  10. This story reports that auto manufacturers have committed $100 billion across North America to create EVs that appeal to the mass market, not just luxury buyers and early adopters. Why?
  11. How would you describe the current economy in the United States, based on what you learned from this news story?
  12. How might that influence demand for EVs?
  13. Why is price an important function of marketing?
  14. Why did Tesla significantly cut the prices of its vehicles this year?
  15. What is a profit?
  16. Why do you think Tesla is the only US carmaker that currently operates a profitable EV business?
  17. If that is the case, why are other automakers making EVs?
  18. What is profit margin?
  19. How might lowering prices, as Tesla has done, impact profit margins?
  20. Why is that important to a company like Tesla?
Chris Lindauer
After working for nearly a decade in professional sports, Chris Lindauer, formed Sports Career Consulting to provide unique sports business education opportunities in and out of the classroom. In the eighteen years (and counting) that followed, Chris has inspired thousands of students to pursue their passions and explore the career of their dreams. He currently lives in Portland, Oregon with his wife, two teenage daughters and their dog.

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