Toyota, Mazda and Made in America

Toyota, Mazda and Made in America

January 26, 2018

Toyota and Mazda have chosen, and their choice is Alabama. The two car manufacturers will together build a $1.6 billion factory in Huntsville, Alabama.

Despite a forecast of declining new car sales in the U.S. from analysts, the Toyota-Mazda plant, opening in 2021, will provide 4,000 jobs, have a manufacturing capacity of 300,000 cars a year, and utilize 2,500 acres of land to accommodate suppliers of major components such as seats and dashboards.

In addition to creating an auto-manufacturing hub in the Deep South, the Toyota-Mazda plant will help stimulate the regional economy by attracting other businesses including home building, restaurants, stores, and service companies ranging from office cleaning to technology support.

This post is based on the NY Times article,Toyota and Mazda Choose Alabama for $1.6 Billion Car Plant, by Neal E. Boudette, January 10, 2018.

Discussion Questions
1. What are the reasons for Toyota and Mazda to choose Huntsville, Alabama, as the location for their auto manufacturing plant?

Guidance: Reasons include: proximity of Toyota’s existing engine plant and Corolla plants, proximity to suppliers, creating an auto-manufacturing hub, stimulating the local economy, government incentives, and pressure to produce more vehicles in the U.S.

2. What are Continue reading

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Pampering at The Local

Pampering at The Local

October 4, 2017

Article Title: Nordstrom Is the First Retailer That Actually Understands What We Want

Author of Article: Thomaï Serdari

Date of article: September 15, 2017

Source URL: http://fortune.com/2017/09/15/nordstrom-local-retail/

Nordstrom Local is a new concept in personalized retailing developed by Nordstrom to address multiple customer pain points. Rather than selling clothes, the Local (the first location is in Los Angeles) provides personal stylists to help pull together outfits for customers to try on while getting a manicure and enjoying drinks in the in-store bar.  Tailors are on-site to make alternations.  Clothing and other merchandise can be purchased through any retail channel with convenient pickups and returns at the Local.

For Nordstrom Local to be successful, its retail operations must focus on delivering “fabulousness” to its customers instead of a transactional point of sale experience.

Discussion Questions
1. What are the challenges of retail operations in today’s business environment? How is Nordstrom responding to these challenges?

Guidance: Topics might include competition from e-tailers, inability to make rapid changes in response to changing customer wants and needs, the need to build loyalty to the brand and a relationship with customers.

2. Explain the importance of a ‘people focus’ Continue reading

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