In 2016, French car manufacturer Peugeot announced it will to return to the US, one of the most competitive markets in the world. Peugeot had previously attempted to conquer the US, but that effort failed: In 1991, after having sold a grand total of 4,261 cars in the whole country the year before, Peugeot left the US and remained away for 25 years. Now eager to stage a successful comeback in a market that only got even more fiercely competitive and in the midst of rapid changes affecting the industry, Peugeot needed to first figure out how to overcome its key competitive weakness, namely its lack of a distribution network. For Peugeot's CEO, one question dominated all others: How should Peugeot fulfill its distribution needs in the US (defined as selling cars and providing maintenance), given that it did not have a distribution network?
- Learn to synthesize a complex strategic problem in the form of a key question and its context (a HTDQ sequence).
- Identify alternative answers to the key question (options).
- Recommend the best option based on an evidence-based analysis of what is important to the key stakeholders.
- Identify how to turn a fundamental strategic weakness—the lack of a dealership network—into a competitive advantage.