Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Product-line variety and innovation along product life-cycle in car market: are carmakers’ policies really effective?

Volpato, Giuseppe and Stocchetti, Andrea (2006): Product-line variety and innovation along product life-cycle in car market: are carmakers’ policies really effective?

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Abstract

This paper presents some preliminary results of a research concerning the evolution of product variety and product innovation policies of carmakers in the European market. Three market segments are taken into consideration for the period 1984-2004; data concerning model sales and product characteristics of some of the main carmakers are examined and the aspects taken into consideration refers to Product Life-Cycle (PLC), price positioning, rough measures of Product Line Width (PLW) and Product Line Innovation (PLI). The aim of the research is to describe product replacement policies and timing pursued by carmakers within each segment to evaluate the effectiveness of carmakers PLC policies through inter-brand comparison mainly based upon: a) PLC extent for each model, b) PLW variation along the life-cycle, c) PLI effectiveness. Differences in brands policies, as well as evolutionary trends of persistence or of discontinuity within the same brand are investigated, as well as the relation between PLC trend and timing in new model introduction.

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