Sometimes timing has everything (or at least a lot) to do with the success of a new product launch. General Motors figured that rushing the redesigned Chevrolet Malibu to market might help give it an edge in the market. They wanted to jump ahead of Japanese rivals that were planning introductions later in the year. Unfortunately, it now looks like the timing wasn’t right, leading to “GM’s First Move Disadvantage” (Bloomberg Businessweek, September 27, 2012). The article might help you lead-off a broader discussion of first-mover/pioneering advantage versus the fast follower strategy. You might also bring up the fact that development times for complex products like automobiles are typically three years or more.
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