Assessment Information/Brief 2019/20
Assessment task details and instructions
You must structure your report in the same order as the weighted assignment tasks set out below.
The word count for the report is 2000 words (+ / – 10%); NB Task 1 is not included in the word count.
The word count also excludes the following:
– cover page
– contents page
Abstracts / executive summaries are not required and will not be marked if included.
SEAT, S.A. is a Spanish automobile manufacturer with its head office in Martorell (near Barcelona), Spain. The firm has been a wholly-owned subsidiary of Volkswagen Group since 1986.
The firm is strategically repositioning itself from a vehicle manufacturer to a provider of mobility services (i.e. where users pay for transportation only when they need it, rather than owning a personal vehicle that is not used most of the time), especially in increasingly crowded urban areas.
As stated by Luca De Meo, the firm’s Chairman:
“We are convinced that vehicles will become the second largest connected platform after the mobile phone and we will have the chance to integrate them into a rich ecosystem. This transformation forces us to innovate and move beyond the scope of being just a carmaker, stretching our value chain towards new mobility services, platforms and data businesses”.
As part of this repositioning, SEAT has identified ‘compact urban mobility’ (short commutes less than 10 kilometres within the city environment, using a small vehicle) as a core area for strategic development.
The firm unveiled its ‘Minimό’ concept vehicle at the 2019 Mobile World Congress to demonstrate SEAT’s vision of the ‘compact urban mobility’ of tomorrow.
Integrating the fields of electrification, connectivity and shared mobility the ‘Minimό’ is a 2-passenger quadricycle primarily intended for business-to-consumer carsharing providers* that has been designed to:
have a considerably smaller ecological footprint (3.1 square metres) than a normal car (7.2 square metres) while providing safe, agile travel and easy parking
release zero emissions due to its all-electric powertrain
reduce the operating costs of carsharing providers by 50%, as the integrated battery-swap system means the vehicle rarely needs to be taken to a recharging point
provide a convenient and smooth digital user experience for users based on hyperconnectivity with built-in 5-G technology
allow the vehicle – in the future and subject to further development of autonomous technologies – to pick up the user when requested, thereby solving one of the main carsharing user pain points.
The ‘Minimό’ will go into production in 2021, leaving the firm with only 18 months to decide which city from across the globe will be most attractive for the product launch. SEAT’s international strategy team have already undertaken some initial desktop research.
Referring to the ‘C40 cities’ (94 of the world’s greatest cities whose mayors are committed to driving meaningful and sustainable action on climate change, including in the area of urban mobility), they have decided to focus on London (UK) and Sydney (Australia) as potentially attractive cities for the product launch of the ‘Minimό’.
As an external consultant, you have been commissioned by the team to research and evaluate these 2 cities and their wider macroenvironments in greater detail.
* Two of the main types of business-to-consumer car-sharing models are:
Station-based carsharing (e.g. Zipcar, Communauto, Maven) – the user only has a choice between a round trip (picking the car up at Station A and returning it to Station A), or a tightly-monitored one-way trip (picking the car up at Station A and returning it to Station B). Those who plan trips ahead of time or are looking for a car at a specific time would benefit from these services.
Free-floating carsharing (e.g. car2go, Gig or DriveNow) – the user can see which cars are available within a set operating area on a mobile app and choose the one closest to them. Once the user is finished using the car, they can drop off the car at any location within the set operating area, saving time and avoiding unnecessary trips. Those who are spontaneous and decide last-minute that they need a car would benefit from these services.
NB the difference between carsharing and ridesharing: Carsharing = ‘I rent a car to drive now and park it when I’m finished; someone else will rent the same car later and drive it’; Ridesharing = ‘where several people with compatible destinations/routes go together in the same car (instead of travelling individually in their own personal car or in a carshare vehicle).
1. In order to identify which city is the most potentially attractive destination for the launch of the SEAT ‘Minimό’, you are required to undertake a comparative analysis of what you believe to be the most relevant city-level urban mobility and wider macro-environmental factors of London and Sydney.
Task 1 must be presented in table format and must be no more than 8 pages in length.
Wider macro-environmental data should be recent, primarily quantitative and obtained from appropriate sources (e.g. the most recently published World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness report).
City-level urban mobility data should be recent, primarily quantitative and obtained from appropriate sources (e.g. the 2019 Deloitte City Mobility Index, which assesses the health of cities’ mobility networks and their readiness to embrace the future of mobility in the coming decades).
A scoring system should be used for each city-level / wider macro-environmental factor for each city to show whether each factor is more or less attractive for the company. These scores should then be totalled for each city in order to arrive at a score of overall attractiveness for each city.
Refer to the Assignment 1 Briefing slides for further guidance.
– Worth 40% of the overall mark
– Not included in the word count
2. Having identified the most attractive city for the product launch of the SEAT ‘Minimό’, provide an evaluation of the city-level / wider macro-environmental factors for your city that you believe to be of most relevance to SEAT – whether in terms of opportunities or threats.
You must explicitly discuss the implications of these key city-level / wider macro-environmental factors for SEAT.
No reference is to be made to the city that you found to be least attractive in Task 1.
– Worth 60% of the overall mark
– 2000 words
For Assignments 1 & 2
Future of Urban Mobility
The Future of Mobility: Reinventing the Auto Industry (2019) – https://www.plantemoran.com/explore-our-thinking/insight/2019/whitepapers/the-future-of-mobility-reinventing-the-auto-industry – NB you will need to enter some of your details to download this report
Transporting the Future: A Business Perspective on Future Mobility (2018) – https://www.wbcsd.org/Programs/Cities-and-Mobility/Transforming-Mobility/SiMPlify/Resources/Transporting-the-future-a-business-perspective-on-future-mobility – Chapter 2
Urban Mobility Redefined: Sharing is the New Buying (2015) – https://www.ey.com/Publication/vwLUAssets/EY-urban-mobility-redefined/$FILE/EY-urban-mobility-redefined.pdf
Automotive OEMs bet on carsharing concepts (2018) – https://iotnowtransport.com/2018/02/23/66657-automotive-oems-bet-carsharing-concepts/
Carsharing Market Analysis (2018) – https://www.sharedmobility.news/carsharing-market-analysis-growth-industry-analysis/
Why Little Vehicles Will Conquer the City (21/06/2018) – https://www.citylab.com/transportation/2018/06/welcome-to-the-tiny-vehicle-age/563342/
Types of Carsharing Models (2017) – https://www.sierrawireless.com/iot-blog/iot-blog/2017/11/free_floating_vs_stationary_vs_p2p_carsharing_technology_providers_open_the_door_to_new_options/
OEMs broadly agree with PwC study on car-sharing future (2017) – https://www.fleeteurope.com/en/smart-mobility/europe/analysis/oems-broadly-agree-pwc-study-car-sharing-future?a=SSC01&t%5B0%5D=PwC&t%5B1%5D=Frankfurt%20Motor%20Show&t%5B2%5D=Car%20sharing&t%5B3%5D=Mileage&t%5B4%5D=Electric&t%5B5%5D=Ride%20hailing&t%5B6%5D=Europe&curl=1
Why OEMs Will Dominate the Global Carsharing Market (2016) – https://www.ptolemus.com/insight/why-oems-will-dominate-the-global-car-sharing-market/
The Future of Mobility 2.0 (2014) – https://www.adlittle.com/sites/default/files/viewpoints/2014_ADL_UITP_Future_of_Urban_Mobility_2_0_Full_study.pdf – Chapter 4
Mobility of the Future: Opportunities for Automotive OEMs (2012) – https://www.mckinsey.com/~/media/mckinsey/dotcom/client_service/automotive%20and%20assembly/pdfs/mobility_of_the_future_brochure.ashx
Macro-environmental Country & Metropolitan-Level Data
World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness report (2018) – https://www.weforum.org/reports/the-global-competitveness-report-2018 (latest version of the report will be published in October 2019)
CIA World Factbook – https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/
OECD Metropolitan Area Statistics – https://stats.oecd.org/Index.aspx?DataSetCode=CITIES (latest year available – 2016)
City-Level Urban Mobility Indices
Deloitte City Mobility Index (2019) –
Website: https://www2.deloitte.com/insights/us/en/focus/future-of-mobility/deloitte-urban-mobility-index-for-cities.html; scroll down to the interactive map and click on a city to download its’ city profile’
London Urban Mobility Index – https://urbanmobilityindex.here.com/city/london
Sydney Urban Mobility Index – https://urbanmobilityindex.here.com/city/sydney/
Urban Mobility Index 3.0 (2018) – https://www.adlittle.com/futuremobilitylab/assets/file/180330_Arthur_D.Little_&_UITP_Future_of_Mobility_3_study.pdf – especially pp.79-90
Urban Mobility Index (2017) – https://futurecities.catapult.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/UMII_Report_17.11.17-min.pdf – especially pp. 12-17, 46, 57
SEAT Minimó: A vision of the future of urban mobility (25/02/2019) – https://www.seat-mediacenter.com/newspage/allnews/company/2019/SEAT-Minimo-A-vision-of-the-future-of-urban-mobility.html
SEAT challenges Renault Twizy with Minimo concept (25/02/2019) – https://europe.autonews.com/geneva-auto-show/seat-challenges-renault-twizy-minimo-concept
The Seat Minimo Could Finally Revolutionize Carsharing Services And Further Kill The Car As We Know It (01/03/2019) – https://www.topspeed.com/cars/seat/2019-seat-minimo-concept-ar184691.html
New SEAT Minimo concept previews Renault Twizy rival for 2021 (05/03/2019) – https://www.autoexpress.co.uk/seat/105957/new-seat-minimo-concept-previews-renault-twizy-rival-for-2021
SEAT Annual Report (2018) – https://www.seat.co.uk/content/dam/public/seat-website/company/annual-report/pdf/others-annual_report_2018_full-NA-NA-NA-march-2019.pdf
Assessed intended learning outcomes
On successful completion of this assessment, you will be able to:
Knowledge and Understanding
1. Demonstrate an advanced understanding of the context of international strategy.
2. Demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of the macro-environment of international business and how it influences the value-adding activities and decision-making of firms.
3. Critically and comparatively evaluate the relative attractiveness of potential foreign markets to enter.
Transferable Skills and other Attributes
1. Apply planning, organising, decision-making and time management skills appropriate for use in an organisational context.
2. Experiment and develop personal initiative and responsibility in undertaking complex investigations in the solving of organisational problems and issues.
3. Critically analyse and apply key ideas and concepts via comprehensive research relevant both to the subject area and to professional practice in the field.
4. Use terminology associated with the subject area accurately and in a way which demonstrates sophisticated knowledge and understanding.
5. Develop and enhance individually and/or collaboratively effective written and/or oral communication skills for both specialist and non-specialist audiences.
1. To provide an advanced understanding of the context of international strategy (the current extent of globalisation, the importance of international activity today, and the reasons why firms compete across national borders).
2. To provide a comprehensive understanding of the macro-environment of international business and how it influences the value-adding activities and decision-making of firms.
3. To enable the critical and comparative evaluation of the relative attractiveness of potential foreign markets to enter.
4. To facilitate the strategic analysis of the internal and industrial environments of firms.
5. To enable a critical evaluation of the suitability of possible modes of entry available to firms seeking to expand into new foreign markets and advance appropriate and justified recommendations.
“The purpose of feedback is not to provide students with a benchmark between passing and failing but to identify strengths and where there is room for improvement and development” (Assessment and Feedback for Taught Awards Policy).
You can expect to receive the provisional mark and feedback for this assessment 10 working days after submission.
All marks will be ratified at the appropriate Board of Examiners following internal and external moderation.
Please note that being dissatisfied with your results does not constitute grounds for an academic appeal.
Support arrangements – University of Salford Students only
The University offers a range of support services for students through askUS.
If personal mitigating circumstances may have affected your ability to complete this assessment, you can find more information about personal mitigating circumstances procedure here.
Support arrangements – Robert Kennedy College
Your institution will have its own support arrangements – please contact your module tutors / administrators / StudentCare regarding support arrangements (personal mitigating circumstances / academic misconduct etcetera); please do not contact Dr Adrian Monaghan.
Assessment Criteria – Robert Kennedy College
See OnlineCampus for the Level 7 Grade Descriptors for the assessment.
Academic Misconduct is an action which may give you an unfair advantage in your academic work. This includes plagiarism, asking someone else to write your assessment for you or taking notes into an exam. The University takes all forms of academic misconduct seriously. You can find out how to avoid academic misconduct here https://www.salford.ac.uk/skills-for-learning.
Students are expected to learn and demonstrate skills associated with good academic conduct (academic integrity). Good academic conduct includes the use of clear and correct referencing of source materials. Here is a link to where you can find out more about the skills which students require http://www.salford.ac.uk/skills-for-learning.
In Year Retrieval Scheme
Your assessment is not eligible for in year retrieval.
If you fail your assessment, and are eligible for reassessment, you will be advised of the resubmission date by your School Office.
For students with accepted personal mitigating circumstances, this will be your replacement assessment attempt.
Students should be aware that there is no late submission period at reassessment (this includes those students who have an accepted PMC request from a previous attempt).
If you need to be reassessed, the reassessment will be the same as the original assessment.