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Week I Short Paper

Week I Short Paper

Due: at the start of class Monday May 1st, 2017

Target length: 1 page, single-spaced (like, as with a real corporate memo)

Winston Churchill (?) commented: “I’m sorry to write such a long letter. But I didn’t have time to write a short one.” Doing a good 1-page memo is difficult and requires practice. (The same is true of writing a good blog post, but readers typically are not expecting polished prose.) I thus allow you to write two pages.


You are free to choose a different topic that you believe is relevant, but you should run your idea past me.

You are part of an electric vehicle venture, in charge of distribution. The president has chosen the strategy for the venture’s first mass-market vehicle. (That is, you are not selling a high-priced supercar where potential customers will seek you out.) What do you propose?

Others are in charge of styling, of engineering, of production, and handling finance (eg, issuing bonds and stock and paying bills). Your job is to see that the cars that one day come off the assembly are turned into cash in an expeditious manner – quickly and at a reasonable price (there may be tradeoffs between the two). Realistically, you need to argue either in favor of one of two strategies:

  • locating independent businessmen who will sell vehicles on your behalf to final consumers, that is, setting up franchised dealers in each state, or
  • set up a system to yourself sell vehicles to final consumers.

Assume away legal issues – arcane laws are not unique to the U.S. That is, there are no external barriers to implementing the strategy of your choice.

What do you choose and why? Note that you cannot cover everything in one page!! You need one main point. You may mention a couple additional points, but you really have room for but one sentence for each in your last paragraph. “In addition to the above, xyz.”

Use Dicke as your primary source. What is involved in supporting vehicle sales? If you propose to sell cars directly, what do you have to do besides have a sales person who can fill out the appropriate paperwork and take the customer’s money?