Volkswagen Beetle is a small economy car with four doors present in the coupe and convertible formats. The car which became an icon through its shape and design has been featured in numerous movies and advertisements. The car which was introduced in the 1940’s was noticed for the first time for its small size, compact design and characteristic humming which gave it the name “Beetle”.
The car emerged to be one which had defined a brand personality for a non-living thing and this went on to become a brand icon for Germany. The car was a roaring success and made its mark in the history of the automobile industry and from the time of its inception to the day it was pulled out of the market, the Beetle sold 21 million units. The car has also been an influence on numerous other cars such as Standard Superior and Tatra.
Strengths in The SWOT analysis of Volkswagen Beetle
Strengths are defined as what each business does best in its gamut of operations which can give it an upper hand over its competitors. The following are the strengths of Beetle :
- Unique styling: The Volkswagen Beetle was the first of its kind and was highly unique in its design almost resembling the bug it is named after. The shape, small size, and color gave it a unique and quirky look which stole millions of hearts across the world.
- Car with a personality: The Beetle was probably one of the earliest examples of a brand with a personality. The car was almost synonymous with an individual and was always marketed as a person by the company. Going beyond just a name and a logo advertisers were able to create a multi-dimensional personal for Beetle. This is probably the reason why the car went on to become the longest and highest selling vehicle within a single design platform.
- Customer Loyalty: The popularity of the car Beetle is also to be attributed to its huge customer base which was possible primarily because of the affordability of the car. Adolf Hitler had announced at the Berlin Auto Show in 1938 that it was open up the prospect of owning a car to millions of low-income customers The affordability of the car along with its consistent performance got it lots of loyal customers.
- Sturdy Design: Beetle has a very sturdy design with a steel body and a rear wheel drive which reduces the need for frequent maintenance and also makes it suitable for all kinds of terrains. Though the design was a basic one it was quite rugged and was able to withstand high amount of wear and tear.
Weaknesses in The SWOT analysis of Volkswagen Beetle
Weaknesses are used to refer to areas where the business or the brand needs improvement. Some of the key weaknesses of Beetle:
- Poor presence in Asia: Volkswagen Beetle was popular car both in The US and Europe. However the company failed to create an impact in Asia and after the recession and financial turmoil, car sales in the Western world took a beating which was when the sales of Volkswagen Beetle first started taking a downturn.
- Poor innovation: Volkswagen Beetle is a car that has not done much innovation in its design or shape and in a bid to retain its personality the company decided to retain its design and shape. When competitors introduced new vehicles Beetle lagged behind in terms of both design and performance.
- Pricing: Beetle was always in the economy segment and the pricing was a huge advantage in its earlier days. However, as more new cars were introduced into the market the brand was seen as a low-quality vehicle which resulted in the loss of business.
- Performance Issues: The car had a lot of performance issues such as engine trouble, noise, and exhaust problems. The air conditioner was either too hot or too cold and the carbon monoxide emissions were high. The car also had mileage issues.
Opportunities in The SWOT analysis of Volkswagen Beetle
- High market potential for small cars: The emerging economies are now looking at small cars since the number of working professionals in these countries and the growing propensity to spend is making them look at second cars. Since the first car is usually a sedan for the second car they prefer a small car.
- Changing customer preferences: Many of the trends which were considered fashionable in the seventies and eighties like bell bottoms and polka dots in fashion and smaller automobiles are coming back into fashion. With some innovation in its engine and more features, the Beetle may have a new lease on life.
Threats in The SWOT analysis of Volkswagen Beetle
Threats are those factors in the environment which can be detrimental to the growth of the business. Some of the threats include:
- Competition: The company faces stiff competition from brands like Honda, Toyota, Nissan, Chevrolet,.Renault and Ford as well as from regional players in each of the local markets.