Question: Wheelco Inc manufactures automobile and truck wheels The company produces

Wheelco, Inc. manufactures automobile and truck wheels. The company produces four basic, high-volume wheels used by each of the large automobile and pickup truck manufacturers. Wheelco also has two specialty wheel lines. These are fancy, complicated wheels used in expensive sports cars.
Lately, Wheelco’s profits have been declining. Foreign competitors have been undercutting Wheel-co’s prices in three of its bread-and-butter product lines, and Wheelco’s sales volume and market share have declined. In contrast, Wheelco’s specialty wheels have been selling steadily, although in relatively small numbers, in spite of three recent price increases. At a recent staff meeting, Wheelco’s president made the following remarks: “Our profits are going down the tubes, folks. It costs us 31 dollars to manufacture our DC16 wheel. That’s our best seller, with a volume last year of 19,000 units. But our chief competitor is selling basically the same wheel for 28 bucks. I don’t see how they can do it. I think it’s just one more example of foreign dumping. I’m going to write my senator about it! Thank goodness for our specialty wheels. I think we’ve got to get our sales people to push those wheels more and more. Take the JY16 model, for example. It’s a complicated thing to make, and we don’t sell many. But look at the profit margin. Those wheels cost us 52 dollars to make, and we’re selling them for 110 bucks each.”

What do you think is behind the problems faced by Wheelco? Comment on the president’s remarks. Do you think his strategy is a good one? What do you recommend, and why?

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  • CreatedApril 22, 2014
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