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Marketing Case Study

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MARK5000 Marketing Theory and Practice



This is an individual assignment worth 40% of the overall module grade.


Drawing on the information in the case study and your own research, do a SWOT analysis for the New Beetle (the 1990s model). You must do a thorough analysis including matching and ranking. You should then write a commentary of the analysis, explaining and justifying your points and decisions.

This should be written as a report. Do not write a marketing plan.

Deadline: Wednesday November 14th 1.00pm

Hand in a hard copy to the Student Advice Centre plus submit via the turn-it-in drop box on the Blackboard website

Word count: up to 2,000 words


Case study

Driving down Memory Lane

The Mini is quite possibly the most loved car in the world. It is a piece of British history; an icon of the 1960s and 70s; British Leyland's biggest hit. The original small car disappeared, along with British Leyland, decades ago but the new BMW Mini seems to be equally loved by a new generation. It is a much bigger car but that's part of what gives it the increased comfort that contemporary car owners expect.

In August 2012, the Mini's worldwide sales rose by 18.5% (BMW 2012) to 18,671 vehicles. On the back of this success, a new model, the Mini Paceman, was launched as a cheaper competitor for cars such as the Range Rover Evoque. The Paceman is based on the Mini Countryman but has a re-designed, sloping roof to give it a sportier look.

The BMW Mini is a massive success story, playing on nostalgia and satisfying drivers' sense of fun. So why isn't VW's equally retro Beetle doing as well?

The VW Beetle is thought of as another star of the 60s (though it's really older than that) and it certainly encapsulates fun. Both are film stars. Minis were the cheeky getaway cars in The Italian job and Herbie was a Beetle. Beetles have always been cool and their re-launch as a slightly bigger, more comfortable New Beetle in 1997 went well, but then sales fell off.

In 2012, a redesigned Volkswagen Beetle is being introduced to appeal to a broader audience. The 1990s New Beetle, with its daisy in a vase on the dashboard, had been very much a woman's car. The 2012 Volkswagen Beetle is expected to appeal to design conscious, nostalgic, cool men - as well as to women. A 2.0 litre diesel engine makes it sportier in terms of performance as well as looks while also seeming greener. The starting price of just over £20,000 keeps it relatively affordable - without actually being cheap.

What Car magazine's review of the 2012 Volkswagen Beetle concluded;

"It isn't the greatest car to drive and there are other more practical and economical alternatives out there, but there's no doubt that the Beetle will turn heads as it goes past. For some buyers, that could be the clincher."

(What Car 2012)


For many drivers, their car is a hugely important part of their self image. Traditionally, cars are thought to confer status and give clues about your personality and what you value. However research conducted by Mintel (20122) found that price is the most important consideration for today's car buyers (for both new and second-hand cars). Other important decision factors are reliability and fuel consumption.

Mintel reported a number of key trends in the car market:

 smaller and medium-sized vehicles are outselling larger one with cars in the supermini, lower medium and upper medium



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