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Miles Motor: A Revitalization Effort in the European Automobile Market

MILES MOTOR

Executive summary

Miles Motor, previously known as EMG, operates as an automobile manufacturer located Europe. Before its selling to an automotive group three years ago, the company enjoyed a strong presence in the European car market. However, efforts to bring the company back to profit making business have proved futile whereby though the company`s sales have seen a steady rise, profit is yet to be realised. As such, the shareholders and investors demanded the introduction of a new management team into the company with the hope that this would help to make the company regain its position in the market. This led to the renaming of the company to Miles Motors as one of the key steps towards addressing the current financial problems in the company, in addition to anticipating any further business fall while taking action to protect the interest of the company’s shareholders. Traditionally, the company has always had a strong brand image and was known for its style in terms of both products and the general company`s image. A lot has been done by previous management at EMG in efforts to attract new customers including a complete overhaul of the company`s products. However, the company operates in a fluctuating and very competitive environment that challenges its financial performance. The fluctuating nature of European market is as demonstrated in the following chart.

The fluctuating nature of European market

As depicted in figure 1, in 2011, the market recorded a sale of 13.6 million a figure that fell in the following year to 12.5 million. This number continued to fall reaching a value of 12.3 in 2013. However, the value further increased in 2014 whereby an approximate value of 13 million was recorded. Therefore, it is essential to formulate proper strategies that would help the company to move forward and make economic progress while expanding its market territories. Some of these strategies include significantly investing in research and development that leads to the development and launch of new models, changing customer and diversifying product as well as making the best use of the latest technology in the automobile industry. All these will give Miles Motor a competitive edge over its key competitors in the marketplace. Further, the new strategies serve as key pillars to the company`s long-term financial success.

Annual report to shareholders

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After the analysis of Miles Motor, the following report was prepared that assesses the performance of the company while establishing a strategy and marketing plan. Further, the report provides the possible medium, and long-term investment plans for Miles Motor followed by conclusions and recommendations that would help the company to reestablish itself as a major player in the European car market. To achieve this, it was fundamental to highlight some of the new management organisational goals and objectives to serve as a guideline for the four-year operations at the company, beginning January 2017 and ending December 2020.

Management team goals and objectives

• To adequately satisfy the needs of our customers

• To achieve long-term profitability for Miles Motor

• Maximise the returns of investments while growing the business

• To pay back the company`s outstanding debt of £450m as per the original annual loan agreement commitments of at least £100m

• To address the existing financial problems at the company

• To reestablish the company`s market share

• To come up with a working market plan for Miles Motor`s products

• Develop and grow Mile Motor`s business interests in Europe

Miles Motor financial performance

Before EMG was renamed Miles Motor and put under a new team of management, the available economic data indicate that the company was in a vulnerable market position in terms of finances. Additionally, the company is expected to make a repayment of £100m annually for the existing loan. This further has an impact on the company`s financial performance as this disqualifies Miles Motor from qualifying for an additional loan which may be necessary to ran the organisation`s operations.

Further the poor financial performance of Miles Motor is demonstrated by the rise in Loss between 2013 and 2015. Chart showing the company`s increasing loss between 2013 and 2015 As illustrated in figure 2, the loss recorded by the company between 2013 and 2015 significantly increased which is a clear indication that the company could be facing serious financial problems.

Strategy for financial progress

The presence of business strategies in the company is paramount for the organisation`s performance and economic progress. One of the strategies is ensuring continuous improvement in all aspects of the company`s production system. This is a critical strategy that results in improved product quality hence making Mile Motor`s products competitive in the market. Further, the company should focus more on the development of new innovative technologies which implies investing more in research and development while encouraging creativity within the company. With proper research within the company, it is possible to obtain new designs or better modifications of existing ones which may attract new customers hence increasing boosting sales and ultimately increasing the company`s profits. Further, Mile Motors should work towards attaining and maintaining a substantial presence in the international market. The global market offers a wider market to the company’s products hence generating high profit for Miles Motor. Investing in employee training is also fundamental as it helps to improve their skills as well as product quality and productivity. By implementing these strategies, the organisation will also achieve the anticipated goals. For instance, through research, better car models that match the needs of specific customers may be developed hence attaining the satisfaction of the customers` needs. Also, engaging in international business implies a wider market that makes it possible for the company to have long-term profitability.

Four year trading data summary

The presence of business strategies In the first year of trading, a new model by the name Filo will be introduced while some modifications may be done on Alpha and Beta. The cost of production will be kept as low as possible to ensure that prices of our models remain lower than of previous years and consequently, more sales are expected. In the first year of trading In the second year of trading, the production of Alpha, Beta and Filo will be increased while a new model called LU will be introduced to the market. Therefore, the company`s sales are expected to rise. In the second year of trading In this year, the target production of the Filo and Alpha models is expected to go up while that of Beta will be reduced slightly. However, no new model will be introduced in the third year but a few modifications to the existing ones can be done with respect to client`s preferences. introduced in the third year In the fourth year of trading, no new model will be introduced and the target production as well as other financial parameters of the third year will be maintained. However, like in the previous years, the existing models can be modified and redesigned to match the client`s taste and preferences.

The following figure shows the target production for Alpha and Beta models over for the four trading years

Target production for Alpha and Beta models over the four trading years

Miles Motor marketing plan

Like any other company in the automotive industry, Miles Motor faces various marketing challenges which suggest the importance of developing a marketing plan. To start with, marketing diversity should be created and should be based on the customers the company wants to influence rather than the vehicle differences. Consequently, this reduces the number of advertising campaigns required per product while also creating a target market that is more tailored. It is notable that by having a particular target group, the company`s return on advertising investment is improved. Advertising is also an essential element of a marketing plan which plays a significant role in increasing customer awareness and hence sales.

Possible medium and long-term investment plans for Miles Motor

Miles Motor may engage in medium investment plans by selling part of its shares to medium investors who are ready to have their investments locked up for a certain duration such as five years. On the other hand, the company can have long-term investment plans by collaborating and forming partnerships with other auto manufacturers to invest in innovation such as green technology. Such partnerships also help companies expand technology while also boosting their sales.

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Conclusion

As illustrated in this report, various strategies that can be used in the management of a non-performing company to reestablish it and transform it into a major player in its industry have been highlighted. The strategies are also instrumental in achieving the set goals and objectives. In the case of Miles Motor, this report has demonstrated the critical function of strategies and targets in bringing change to an organisation. Further, it has been made clear through Miles Motor`s case that a marketing plan is a fundamental element of marketing that increases sales and hence profits for a company.

Recommendations

- Miles Motor should always ensure it produces unique products for the market to clearly distinguish itself from competitors

- The company should focus on outdoing their competitors in terms of product comfort, safety, design, and affordability

- More efficient distribution mechanisms should be adopted in the company to reduce the product cost

  1. The 1960s industry collapse in New York turned factories into artist studios which provided the space for developing gigantic artworks
  2. Space race which emphasis on capital power rather than actual function of an exhibition space
  3. Museum as an icon, will promote cultural tourism
  4. Uncertainty about art and how to create a spatial recognition for the arts within the museums (Foster, 2015).

Foster came up with an underlying ideology in operation: to enjoy (entertainment). However, it is important to question what Foster meant by entertainment? He relates the term entertainment to spectacle and experience and says that we live in a “spectacle society” or an “experience economy” (Foster, 2015), concluding that museums are a part of the capitalism in the society. Clearly, entertainment is meant in a pejorative sense. In other words, entertainment is a clichéd saying of a Hippy way of enjoying/living with the presence – “activation has become an end, not a means” (Foster, 2015). Hal Foster stated his ideal museum would be a Proustian one. He suggests that there should be a purposeful abstinence from creating too much decorative details within the museums. (Foster, 2015)..

Hal Foster’s argument is clearly against the current entertainment-driven ideology that is reflected in some museums. It is true that going to museums nowadays have become an act of Symbolic Registration (Rabaté, 2003, p. 128), that is, the symbolic action of going and taking pictures as a record became an end rather than a means to the real action of understanding art, as Lacan explains that symbolic registration makes a person lose their own immediacy in order to become meaningful to others (Rothenberg, 2013). Online social networking have indeed given us an illusion that taking a record and posting it online is the whole process of visiting a museum. This makes the act of going to the museum, symbolic rather. His view is a static understanding of a museum, rather than a contemporary contemplation of it. We have to question what he has omitted in this picture of “enjoyment”. He expended a large amount of words arguing against the unnecessary expansion of the museum, and at the end he also questioned if a museum should operate as a “space-time machine”. He said it is because the audience and artworks were presumed to be passive therefore they needed to be activated or aroused by the gigantic space (Foster, 2015). The Tate Modern in London has done a lot of influential work in creating channels through which audience can interact with artworks. The Gallery emphasises on such audience participation and interaction. Here, the Gallery’s efforts are focused to express that artworks have their symbolic value in themselves, and sometimes they need their audience to actively participate in the process. Tate has been influential in helping to develop audience interaction with artworks, as seen in the 2004 ‘The Weather Project’ by Ollafur Eliassen and the 2007 ‘The Test Site’ by Karsten Holler (Vindbjerg, 2016). Tate has encouraged interactions with the young audience through free collection displays and ‘Tate Tracks’ (Kotler, et al., 2008, p. 345). Hal Foster has focused on the negative side of the space expansion rather than on the positive side. He has not done a sound job in constructing his own argument.

The four evidences he used to develop his argument on entertainment experience have to be questioned. It might be true that industry collapse led to the development of larger artworks, however that was not the only reason. The development of larger artworks can be the result of the development of Art, for which artists need freedom of spirit and space (Hegel, 1998, p. 606). The increase in the size of an artwork might reflect a whole new level of contemplating Art and its nature (Hegel, 1998). Foster can only derive such relationship between artwork size and industry collapse with a static view of Art evolution in which artwork has a fixed nature.

Secondly, he argued on the space race and said such vast spaces within the museums have led to other undesirable by products, such as immense atria (Foster, 2015). Here he has failed to recognize the function of today’s art museums (Kotler, et al., 2008). He has also failed to realize the fact that some traditional museums have unused space as well, such as the Chinese National Museum and the Great British Museum. Modern and Contemporary art museums are now a multi-function construction, rather than simply displaying artworks, they serve as an general art education site, souvenir shop, art preservative site, promotion of new artists, among other things, as a part of the negotiated transfer of wealth between the donor and the curators (Storr, 2007). It is questionable which function is emphasized by Foster when he says that “An emphasis on design power distracts from fundamental matters of function” (Foster, 2015).

Thirdly, a museum as icon doesn’t necessary lead to negative result such as disruption of poor neighborhoods or the need for the artists to respond to the architecture of the museum (Foster, 2015). Foster’s statement to that effect is another instance where Foster focused only on the negative side but not the positive side. I strongly disagree when he claims “museums become so sculptural that the art arrives after the fact, and can only ever be second on the bill”. Those iconic museums can also serve as a new space for more experimental art (Lorente, 2016, p. 123).

Fourthly, the uncertainty of the nature of an artwork is exactly the feature of contemporary art. Zizek has pointed out that the “void” is central in contemporary art (Žižek, 2001). Zizek said that after Marcel Duchamp, there is no “thing” proper which can fill up the proper place of the concept of “art in its purest form” (Žižek, 2001). Every artwork which try to fill up the place of art is destined to fail. Hal Foster failed to accept this feature of post-modernism. Hence his conclusion that it is because of entertainment experience that museums are built which has no guide line for its function rather than a philosophical contemplation of the nature of contemporary and modern art.

On top of that, Foster’s argument is “museum-center oriented”. If prizing entertainment experience is an issue, it is a general issue to the world of Art instead of directing only to modern and contemporary museums. Zizek has pointed out the ideology of today’s society is “jouissance” or enjoyment – you ought to enjoy, and that’s all (Žižek, 2001, p. 132). Hal Foster should focus not solely on museums but also to art fairs, galleries, art institutions etc.

After reviewing the logic behind Hal Foster argument on prizing entertainment experience, we have come to conclude that prizing entertainment experience is not a genuine challenge but a biased and ill-formed question. There might be a portion of entertainment experience included in museums nowadays, however, it does not provide the full picture of the role of contemporary museum.

Hal Foster commend on the current modern and contemporary art museums situation is a nostalgic one. In my point of view, entertainment experience and the increase in size of museums are ways of promoting art for general public. In the past where Art only belongs to elite and privileged class, it should now be open to the public and let the public retroactively participate in the construction of the idea of “ART”.

Bibliography

  • Rabaté, J.-M., 2003. The Cambridge Companion to Lacan. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Hegel, G., 1998. Aesthetics: Lectures on Fine Art, Volume 1. s.l.:Clarendon Press.
  • Baniotopoulou, E., 2001. Art for Whose Sake? Modern Art Museums and their Role in Transforming Societies: The Case of the Guggenheim Bilbao. s.l.:Journal of Conservation of Museum Studies.
  • Storr, R., 2007. To Have and To Hold. In: Collecting the New: Museums and Contemporary Art. New Jersey: Princeton Univerity Press, pp. 29-40.
  • Lorente, J. P., 2016. The Museums of Contemporary Art: Notion and Development. Oxon: Routledge.
  • Žižek, S., 2001. The Fragile Absolute: Or, why is the Christian Legacy Worth Fighting For. London: Verso.
  • Foster, H., 2015. After the White Cube. London Review of Books, 37(6), pp. 25-26.
  • Rothenberg, M. A., 2013. The Excessive Subject: A New Theory of Social Change. Cambridge : Polity Press.
  • Vindbjerg, I., 2016. The First Book I Wish I’d Had At Art College. s.l.:Lulu Press.
  • Kotler, N. G., Kotler, P. & Kotler, W. I., 2008. Museum Marketing and Strategy: Designing Missions, Building Audiences, Generating Revenue and Resources. San Fransisco: John Wiley and Sons.

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