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Competitive Strategies Case Study

Case Title:

Piaggio vs Honda: The Strategy Lessons

Publication Year : 2007

Authors: Prabhu Sethuraman, Rajendar Singh Rathore

Industry: Automobiles


Case Code: COM0179

Teaching Note: Available

Structured Assignment: Available

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Most companies that rose to become global leaders, most often, started with limited resources and capabilities. But they were bent on winning and then sustained that obsession, termed as "strategic intent". Piaggio, the Italian motorcycle manufacturer, who tasted initial success with the launch of 'Vespa' motor scooter in 1946 faced numerous challenges ahead and was close to bankruptcy in 2003. In contrast, Honda, the Japanese automobile manufacturer, leveraged its initial success of 'Supercub' motorcycle to foray into automobile production and achieved the status of a global automotive player. The Piaggio vs Honda case compares the strategies adopted by both manufacturers, each with a point of uniqueness, in a market that required greater flexibility, high complexity, quick changes and competitive strategies. A comparison - of these two companies' strategy models - reveals that strategy is never static and involves continuous adjustments.

Pedagogical Objectives:

  • To understand the strategies used by Honda and Piaggio in their pursuit for global leadership
  • To discuss and analyse the reasons behind the success of Honda and failure of Piaggio
  • To debate why good companies go bad
  • To understand and discuss the need and importance of strategy formulation.

Keywords : Enrico Piaggio; Soichiro Honda; Vespa; Ape; Supercub; US Automobile Industry; Japanese Motorcycle industry; Giovanni Agnelli; Roberto Colaninno; Market Entry Strategy; Restructuring Strategies; Competitive Strategies; Global Expansion Strategies; Marketing and Promotional Strategies; Cash on Delivery (COD); Competitive Strategies Case Study; Strategic Intent; Need and importance of Strategy Formulation

Contents : 
Honda (19462007)
US Two-wheeler Market Share in 1966
Honda Unit and Net sales in 2007
Motorcycle Production in Japan by Japanese Makers

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