UK Custom Essay Sample on «Movie Analysis: "Who Killed the Electric Car?"»

Movie Analysis:

Background Information

The film Who Killed the Electric Car? is not new, dating back to 2006. This documentary analyzes the creation of an electric vehicle, its commercialization, and subsequent destruction. This film looks at the roles that automobiles, the government, and even consumers themselves play in adopting such a technology. At the same time, this documentary analyzes the industry that produces oil. This issue-oriented film is tasked with the responsibility of sending a message that, according to the hopes of its creators, will reach the target audience. Who Killed the Electric Car? is packed with plenty of information on whether to appreciate the efforts, aimed at introducing and keeping electric vehicles. The documentary is a powerful tool for learning styles and different classroom goals. Thus, it consists of two carefully-made segments that offer excellent opportunities for discussion. The film is a story by the civic-minded group of environmental enthusiasts. The warming planet is a concern for everybody, especially the automotive sector since it contributes to the emission of harmful gases. The documentary centers on 1990 when the automobile industry, specifically some circumstances, forced General Motors into the pursuit of a cleaner future. The state of air quality in California was terrible, which caused the need to kill the electric vehicle due to the adoption of zero emission on vehicle manufacturing industries. This explains the conditions that have aided such a production.

Problem Statement

Companies operate in the industries that face various challenges. These problems emanate from both internal and external environments. For example, the case of General Motors provides an opportunity to understand the influence that politics has on business operations. Rivalry, suppliers, consumers, new entry, and substitutes impact businesses differently. Therefore, the analysis provides a compressive view of such issues while focusing on General Motors.

General Analysis

The documentary addresses various issues apart from this electric car’s historical background and its commercialization. The movie draws its focus on EV1, the product of General Motors that has remained available in a county in South California. The main issue was to ensure a continued sale of gasoline-powered electric vehicles belonging to the county. Thus, the concern raised here is the issue of air pollution in the wake of high business venture. The film also addresses the problem of dependency on oil by most automobiles and answers the question of the death of electric vehicles. However, it also depicts politics as the major issue of concern, especially in the oil-producing Middle East. Of even greater importance is the matter of global warming that is advanced by air pollution. The film aims at exposing the foreseeable technological advancements in the field of automobile industry inclusive of the introduction of hydrogen-powered vehicles. The overall aim of such attempts is to ensure that they address the issues of environmental concerns as well as the market for General Motors. Sustainability remains the hidden goal of the film’s creators as it discusses the lead factors that have prompted the death of electric vehicle. Thus, the film asserts that there is need to ensure sustainable profits for the company owners as well as clean and breathable air for consumers (Payne, 2016). The idea was clear - California was choking to death on its own waste. Thus, there was a need to act on this idea, which was to create exhaust-free vehicles with the aim of making California clean and sustainable.

Furthermore, the documentary depicts the attempts that the fans of the electric vehicle have made to keep it on the market. Even though they have failed, the recognition of their enthusiasm and the need to look into the issues keenly remains imperative. The requirement to save the surviving electric vehicles expounds on the vitality of the problems they have addressed. Towards the film’s end, people find a deactivated electric vehicle at Petersen’s garage, which is an automotive museum, with a former electric vehicle sale visiting. This situation shows that General Motors has registered losses since they had crashed most of these vehicles or sent them to museums. The film also explains that this loss might have caused the company great loss of wealth and customer trust. Therefore, the company faces various strategic issues, including finding a market for its products when there is great pressure from the government to create new models of vehicles. Dealing with the market demands can be very difficult for General Motors. The company feared that it would lose revenue for the development of electric cars because the latter required little attention. That is why General Motors needed the vehicle ‘killed’. This situation implies that aside from pressure from the government and agencies, automobiles faced the issue of ensuring that they retained their consumers. The latter are essential for any business to thrive since without consumer interest due to price inflations, it becomes almost impossible for a company to remain on the market.

General Motors' Organizational and Industrial Analysis

Internal-RBV Analysis

The analysis takes a broad approach to help understand most of its details. This section focuses on the resources that prove critical to any organization. The evaluation helps in understanding various approaches that the company uses in acquiring and sustaining these valuables. According to the resource-based view (RBV), various resources and capabilities of General Motors ensue. There is global competition, which means that the struggle to remain relevant and viable is a major concern to the company (Payne, 2006). General Motors is one of the world's largest automobile companies, and it is a good place regarding resources, necessary to maintain its sustainability. The company boasts of having design, manufacturing, distribution, and a large market for vehicle parts. The capabilities give General Motors a mileage as compared to its rivals. Thus, the company distributes its resources to over 30 countries that are major consumers of its products, which is an indication that, based on RVB, General Motors is best placed to fit in the competition on the market. In addition to its brands, the company boasts of having automotive and non-automotive components such as Terex and Euclid. At the global level, some of its territorial brands include Chevrolet, Buick, GMC, Cadillac, and Holden. At the same time, the company owns such brands as Baojun, HSV, Wuling, Baojun, Jie Fang, and Ravon.

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RBV theory premises on the identification of a firm's potential key resources, the evaluation of these resources accordingly to fulfill valuable, rare, imperfectly imitable and non-substitutable (VRIN) criteria, and care for the resources that have passed these criteria. The skills, of which the company prides itself, such as manufacturing design and distribution, make it clear that according to the requirements, they are valuable and they ensure sustainability. They are strategic in guaranteeing that General Motors conceives and improves its effectiveness. The company’s large number of employees is also valuable to its success, so investing in them would be a brilliant step towards achieving sustainability. In such a way, General Motors can achieve competitive advantage when it is capable of implementing its values and creating strategies that supersede those of its potential competitors.

External-Porter's Five Forces

Porter’s Five Forces analyze the attractiveness of an organization to its consumers. These five forces include the threat of new entrants, industry rivalry, and the bargaining power of customers. At the same time, the bargaining power of suppliers together with the threat of substitutes are two other facets of this analysis. All these factors make it possible for the management to understand the environment, in which they play.

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The threat of new entrants helps in determining the possibility of other firms entering the industry. In most cases, the process occurs where there exists some gap in the market. For instance, General Motors could find it hard to meet the demands of its clients, thereby giving other firms an opportunity to invade the market. Based on the film, one can see that the automotive industry is not very competitive. In fact, companies like General Motors enjoy the majority of consumers’ attention since they have a competitive edge. The quality of vehicles they manufacture as well as their brand names give them competitive advantage. Thus, it is less likely that other firms may find an opportunity to enter the industry. As a result, General Motors suffers less from the threat of new entrants.

At the same time, the threat of substitutes could have a high influence because, as seen in the documentary, the availability of alternative products has led to the death of the electric vehicle. However, in this case, one could blame political influence, which is a macroeconomic factor, influencing a company's operations externally. Following the death of its product, General Motors faces little competition regarding available substitutes. Apparently, the existence of the electric car on the market would have posed a real competitive threat to other brands.

Furthermore, the bargaining power of suppliers influences operations at General Motors. The company requires different supplies of raw materials and financial support, including financing its debt. Logically, since the firm is stable in its operations, its suppliers have minimal influence when it comes to acquiring such resources. Thus, General Motors can approach banks and negotiate for a loan as well as receive materials from suppliers with much ease. All these factors enable the company to possess competitive advantage.

At the same time, it is evident that customers have some influence when it comes to General Motors. Since they keep changing their tastes and preferences, which are quite varied, the company must factor such issues in its production or manufacturing processes. Lastly, the industry rivalry has a high effect on the operations of the company. Other players in the industry use different approaches, aimed at achieving their goals. For example, some companies may resort to political support. Such acts of politics and government involvement in the business environment may affect firms, adversely depending on the direction they take.

General Environment

The automotive industry looks attractive. Some of the factors that influence operations in this industry include demographics, politics, and technology. Thus, demographic trends include population increase and the rising number of the representatives of the working class, which leads to higher demand. Moreover, political environment has suppressed other substitutes, including electric cars. Furthermore, this factor has advanced the oils issue in the Middle East, thus affecting the industry. Lastly, the technological trends include using vehicles that rely on gas and manufacturing cost-effective cars.

Recommendations and Justification

In conclusion, having analyzed General Motors’ actions based on the documentary Who Killed the Electric Car?, one can say that there is need to ensure sustainability in dealing with arising issues such as the death of the electric vehicle. This implies that people should stop such issues as global warming because current trends indicate that the world moves towards environmental sustainability and the warming planet is a concern. Therefore, suppliers and even partners should unite their efforts to help advance this goal. The paper also recommends to ensure that regardless of disruptions, customers remain within the company's trust. This factor will make sure that General Motors retains the competitive advantage it enjoys, which helps the firm sustain its profitability over time. Therefore, the documentary is a revelation not only to General Motors and the automotive industry as a whole but also to other rival industries, thus making them consider giving environmental concerns the top priority. The film also requires companies to remain flexible should such adjustments occur within their sector. Finally, this civic-minded documentary once again points at the failure of the government to consider long-term issues of oil dependency and clean environment that are abandoned in favor of serving the industry interests.


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