August 2010


“Russian automaker Sollers, known earlier as Severstal Auto, plans to launch assembly of foreign-branded vehicles in the Russian far eastern city of Vladivostok” reported by JustAuto.com in July 2009. Why should I care about a news headline from a year ago you ask? If you are in the auto parts industry, you might be looking for revenue opportunities just now. Hadn’t thought of far-eastern Russia as a viable market? Check out this headline from last week from The Street:
“Despite today’s woeful economic climate, one of the most dynamic global markets is emerging in a most unlikely place: the Russian Far East. A key player in that region, Marcon International Trading, Inc., is actively and successfully engaged in the export of automobile parts, lubricants, diagnostic equipment and tires.
Of course, this move didn’t happen over night. Marcon (Seattle) has long been developing its presence in the Russian Far East markets, and is now in a position to create a joint-venture partnership in the region to take advantage of the growing demand for automobiles, and – not coincidently – tapping into a hungry industry of auto suppliers in the U.S.

Of course, even companies hungry for new revenues need to do their homework to make sure new partnerships are appropriate for their business. The point is, a global approach to finding lucrative markets can – and does – work.

http://www.thestreet.com/storycomments/10837197/1/marcon-international-trading-inc–pioneers-in-the-automotive-industry.html
http://www.just-auto.com/news/sollers-looks-east-for-foreign-brand-assembly_id100247.aspx
http://www.MarconMarket.com.

Compari – maker of Absolut vodka and other brands of liquor – reported revenue increases of 11% for Europe (not including Italy which grew at only 2.9%).  Global sales were up 8.7%, with favorable reports that Eastern European markets are returning as well. In fact, the company is optimistic about various markets around the world (http://www.businessweek.com/news/2010-08-06/campari-wins-share-in-europe-as-rivals-look-elsewhere.html). 

 So why do I bring this up?   Sometimes it’s easy to blame the economy for lack growth; in fact, Campari has had mixed results in markets around the globe. But it also shows that a focused strategy, with an eye to market share, can win even when times are tough.

 It would seem that Campari has done their homework:  each market is researched and analyzed for the most relevant information that can make – or break – a growth strategy. That way, Campari can prioritize markets for short-term gains, while focusing overall strategy on the longer-term win.