Road King Trucks
Michael Livingston has recently been hired as the CEO of Road King Trucks, Inc. Previously he had been the marketing manager for a large manufacturing company and had established a reputation for identifying new consumer trends. Road King Trucks Inc. is a California-based truck manufacturing company. The company is well known for manufacturing large, heavy-duty trucks at a reasonable cost. One of its greatest achievements is that its trucks can be easily modified or customized for different applications. Road King Trucks also builds school buses.
The company is considering an expansion of its current product line to include transit buses. Mr. ...view middle of the document...
The Transit Bus Opportunity
Mr. Livingston arranged a meeting with the firm’s top management, as well as the chief design and manufacturing engineers to propose his new product. He presented an argument that more individuals in the United States and Canada would be willing to use public transportation than before, because people were becoming more environmentally conscious. Also, recent increases in fuel costs seemed to be long lasting. This was an opportunity to get people hooked on transit buses, as he put it.
The proposal under consideration was for the introduction of a large, public transport bus. To distinguish Road King Trucks from other manufacturers, the proposal included details about the level of comfort, air-conditioning, efficiency, and quietness of operation that needed to be developed.
Mr. Phillips and Mr. Lopez, the two engineers, reacted enthusiastically and quickly pointed out that the bus could be based on the company’s trucks. The frame currently used for building the trucks could be modified to accommodate buses at a relatively low cost. The marketing vice president, Mr. Chen, pointed out that a marketing analysis could be done quickly, and at a reasonable cost. At this point, Mr. Livingston charged the participants in the meeting to produce a financial plan for the development and production of a transit bus.
The use of public transportation had declined steadily since the 1950’s. Most people were opting to use their personal vehicles for all of their transportation needs. Recently, however, most of the metropolitan areas in the United State and Canada, the target markets for the new bus, had become more and more congested; and parking, which was already very expensive, was becoming scarce.
This combination of trends has renewed the public’s interest in good and reliable public transportation. Several municipalities have been campaigning to their residents and commuters that they should use public transportation for business commuting, and only use their cars for shopping and weekend activities. However, such campaigns need to be supported by making high quality public transportation available to the target riders.
Three weeks after the initial meeting, the vice presidents presented the sales and cost forecasts shown in the attached exhibits. The information presented contains the cost of production, financing information, and warranty cost estimates. The proposals also contained two engine options for the engines: The Detroit engine, and the Marcus engine. The Detroit engine was more expensive to install, but had a lower warranty cost. The Marcus engine was less expensive to install, but had a higher warranty cost. This begged the question: Which engine should be used?
Issues and Analyses
Mr. Livingston noticed that there was a great deal of enthusiasm among the management group about the transit bus opportunity, but his cautious nature told...