Overcoming Stagnation: Product Policy and Marketing in the German Automobile Industry of the 1970s
University of Goettingen (Gottingen)
June 10, 2010
Business History Review, Vol. 84, No. 1, 2010
The automobile industry was a leader in Germany’s economic recovery after World War II. In the 1950s and 1960s, carmakers found a ready market for their products as mass motorization created a manufacturing backlog. But, by the 1970s, rapid changes in sales and the arrival of new competitors in the German market marked a transition from a seller’s to a buyer’s market. Additionally, the energy crisis intensified existing consumer reluctance to spend and altered buying preferences. German car manufacturers adjusted to the changing market conditions after 1973 by adopting different strategies. In order to generate economic success, they developed new marketing-management instruments that supported a fundamental change in the business paradigm, leading them to shift from their earlier emphasis on production to a stronger focus on consumers.
Keywords: automobile industry, Germany, postwar, mass motorization, car manufacturers, economic miracle, Daimler-Benz, BMW
JEL Classification: L62, L92, N84, D12Accepted Paper Series
Date posted: June 11, 2010
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