5. Marketing environment of the new 3-Wheeler:
A rapid look at the external environment surrounding this new 3-Wheeler product, will help gain an insight of
the marketing potential of this new product. A few more thoughts will be added on the internal
environment of the industries that may manufacture this product.
A) External marketing environment:
Characteristics of the world that will surround this new 3-Wheeler product:
- Economical environment:
Market globalization: The actual economical environment is first characterized by the market globalization.
There's no obstacle to the world wide marketing of the new 3-Wheeler. The central steering handlebar adapts as easily to
right hand driving like in England and Japan, as to left hand driving like in the US. It would thus be more easy to go
back and forth between England and France.
Oil price increase: The economical environment is also characterized by the fuel price increase tendency. In the
long term, this tendency gives an advantage to small vehicles like our 3-Wheeler.
- Demographic environment:
Potential buyer pool: Potential buyers of regular motorcycles or 3-Wheelers are everywhere in America. This
potential market is thus at least one order of magnitude larger than for both snowmobiles and watersleds.
Aging baby-boomers: Aging baby-boomers are an important motorcyclist group. They are getting more sensitive to
safety related issues. Our new 3-Wheel concept is in a good position to answer their need for increased safety.
- Natural environment:
Lengthened season: Since it cannot fall on icy roads, the motorcycle season can be lengthened with this
3-Wheeler, particularly in early spring when riders suffer an urge to ride after a long winter.
- Socio-cultural environment:
Motorcycle=Free-Air=Freedom: Motorcycles inherently offer open-air mobility. They confer a free-air freedom
feeling that is a strong buying motivation. There also is a related trend to escape out on the road during the weekend.
With all its advantages, our new 3-Wheeler well answers this need .
Motorcycle=Danger: Motorcycles are perceived as dangerous and are thus attractive to certain riders. But many
other riders are conscious of the its risk of injury or death. They try to reduce these riding risks: They take
motorcycle riding courses. They ride in groups following safety rules. They often follow speed limits better than car
drivers. The safety aspects of our 3-Wheeler will certainly appeal to them.
Acceptance of the 3-Wheeler: The reaction of persons seeing our 3-Wheeler is one of curiosity and acceptance. Our
3-Wheeler once won a 'most original motorcycle" trophy at the annual Quebec federation of touring-motorcycle clubs.
In a motorcycle group on the road, it's often used to close the march and prevent cars getting in between the group of
motorcycles from behind.
Our 3-Wheeler doesn't lean in curves: Before seeing the 3-Wheeler in real, many said it would certainly be less
interesting than regular motorcycles because it doesn't lean in curves. Once beside or sitting on it, though, it wasn't
a problem anymore. It's thus probable that many potential clients will first reject this 3-Wheeler, but will accept it
as soon as friends will have talked to them into trying one. Snowmobile riders don't complain that their vehicle doesn't
lean in curves. Most probably, 3-Wheel riders will have the same reaction.
Imposing two spread-apart headlights: Also, at road intersections, we noted that the 3-Wheeler's two spread-apart
front headlights make it more visible and imposing. This reduces the chances that a car coming from the right may not
stop correctly and hit the motorcycle.
- Technological environment:
Powerful bomb motorcycles: Bomb or sport motorcycles exceed 300 kilometers per hour. Thus our 3-Wheeler will have
to offer competitive elements. They must still be kept secret.
Well equipped touring-motorcycles: Touring motorcycles have engines up to 1800cc and a reverse. They also have
electrically adjustable front-rear suspensions and windshield. Our 3-Wheeler can have all that PLUS easy maneuverability
and more luggage space.
Manual and automatic transmissions: Most 500 cc up motorcycles have manual transmissions. All snowmobiles have
belt type automatic transmissions, which makes them easier to get used to.
ABS brakes: More top of the line motorcycles have ABS Antilock Brake Systems to help them avoid skidding and
falling. A top of the line new concept 3-Wheeler does not fall, but could benefit using a rear brake with ABS.
- Direct competition environment:
Motorcycle market segmentation: This new 3-Wheel road motorcycle concept is in direct competition with regular
motorcycles, for which market segmentation is roughly the same as for snowmobiles:
- Sport-bomb motorcycles: Power and speed in top priority.
- Touring motorcycles: Priority on comfort and luggage capacity.
- Custom motorcycles: Custom or Harley type motorcycles have no equivalent in the snowmobile market. This
segment holds engine sound and chrome in top priority.
- Mid-size motorcycles: Motorcycles that are "in-between" compromises, waiting to buy a bigger
- Small scooters and mopeds: About 50 cc engines. Basic entry level motorcycles.
- Off-road motorcycles: Cross-country 2-Wheelers and 4X4 ATVs, mainly used off-road.
Four snowmobile/watersled manufacturers: Many companies around the world manufacture motorcycles. But there
are only four snowmobile and personal watercraft manufacturers: Arctic Cat, Bombardier, Polaris and Yamaha.
Custom motorcycles phenomenon: The custom motorcycle market is still going strong. This drives unrelated
companies to try penetrating that market, like snowmobile manufacturer Polaris with its 1800cc Victory, or sport
motorcycle manufacturer BMW with its R1200C ("C" for for Custom, Cruiser or Classic.)
New safer motorcycles: BMW ceased production of its C1. It was a 2-Wheel motorcycle with a 125cc engine having a roll cage,
back rest and seat belts for protection against frontal collisions. The German Transportation Ministry allowed C1
riders not to wear a safety helmet.
- Legal environment:
Transport legislation: It's unsure whether all countries will accept the new 3-Wheeler as a motorcycle. But
legally and with certain restrictions, it's a motorcycle in Quebec, Canada and the US. So it must conform to less
stringent regulations than cars. Some may perceive that it's a way to get around certain useful laws. But on the other
hand, it must also be considered that this new 3-Wheeler brings another clearly safer alternative to regular motorcycle
users. It's probable that in the long term and as the 3-Wheeler market develops, more appropriate laws will also come
Patents: The 3-Wheel vehicle with engine ahead of the two driving and steering front wheels and riders sitting
astride, has been patented in Canada, the USA and France. Many other patents covering different aspects of this
3-Wheeler will be applied for when time comes.
B) Real market Potential:
Can this new product constitute a good business opportunity?
Market reaction to this new road motorcycle concept is certainly not easy to predict. But the vehicle can be designed to
offer a strong competition in certain motorcycle market segments:
- Small 250cc engine: A small 250cc engine 3-Wheeler could be offered to entry-level youngsters, or rather
to their parents that would not hesitate paying more for a safer motorcycle.
- Sport motorcycle: A powerful engine and and other concepts that must still be kept secret, would certainly
appeal to sport motorcyclists.
- Touring motorcycle: The regular touring motorcycle concept nearly doesn't make sense any more, when compared
to this new 3-Wheeler with its luggage capacity, ease of driving and safety. Our 3-Wheeler could certainly be equipped
with bigger suitcases, adjustable windshield and suspensions with a press button, heating seat and handles,
communication radio... and other equipments increasing comfort and easing long trips.
- Touring motorcycle with even more safety: There could even be a 3-Wheeler equipped with back rests, safety
belts, rollover protective structure and even a small snapped-in-place canopy roof.
Immediate market potential:
As it is developed right now, this 3-Wheeler presents an immediate market opportunity, since the weekend
touring-motorcyclists would hardly resist:
- The fun to ride a new type motorcycle: Which is hi-tech, powerful and attracts people's eyes at every
- The peace of mind when riding: Because this nice weekend ride will end safely and it will be possible to go
back to work on Monday morning on both feet.
- And the fun to own a multi-functional machine: Because it's a non-bothering road motorcycle that integrates
easily in day to day usage over a lengthened riding season.
C) Internal environment and manufacturer advantages:
The internal environment of the company that will manufacture the new 3-Wheeler is unknown. But this product has
advantages for motorcycle, snowmobile and personal watersled manufacturers:
- Further product diversification: The new 3-Wheeler further supports product diversification, in terms of
vehicle models but also in terms of related equipment such as suits and boots, just like motorcycles, snowmobiles and
- Further spreading out of manufacturing and sales over the year: For either one of the four snowmobile
manufacturers, the new 3-Wheeler completes the actual line of snowmobiles, personal watersleds and 4X4 ATVs to further
support brand loyalty. Also, production and sales could be better spread out over the year. And a short winter would
automatically be compensated by a longer summer season. The same would go for dealers that could sell warm snowmobile
suits for the early cold spring riding days.
- Further sharing of parts and production line: The new 3-Wheeler is very similar to motorcycles, snowmobiles
and personal watersleds. Thus, they could put things in common, from engine to production line.
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