When Out-Gunned by Your Competition, Don't Do What This Auto Manufacturer Did

  • Oct 24, 2019

This is the Rambler American, a low-priced passenger car. The manufacturer, American Motors Corporation, is long gone because of their fatal mistake. They were competing with General Motors, Ford, and Chrysler, each of which was much larger. Their competitors had deeper pockets for advertising and they had more dealerships.

Sometimes wars have been won by the lesser army, and sports events won by the weaker team. But there is one thing necessary: Don't do the same thing the other guy is doing. The other guy is better at it and he will win.

In the 1980 Olymics ice hockey competition the Russian team was unquestionably the best team in the world. But the American team beat them by playing a different game. The American team trained for endurance and wore out the Russians. Burger King has historically been able to do well agaist McDonalds by pushing broiled instead of fried, and by advertising ("Have it your way") faster service on special orders.

AMC had another vehicle, one that no one else had. What if, just if, they did not tred to compete on basic passenger cars but pushed their other product - the Jeep. Yes, AMC had the Jeep at one time. Sometimes companies push the products that are sell the most in the marketplace. But that does not mean you should sell those products. You need to sell what will sell best for you, not what sells best for your competitors. And if you are the underdog, don't do the same thing you competitors do.


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