Green Propulsion. Is small beautiful?
Green Propulsion (“GP”) is a small company that focuses on the advancements and growing field of green technology in relation to hybrid vehicles. It was originally founded by three key entrepreneurs who met in the 1990’s at Liege University. These three founders consisted of Yves Toussaint, GP’s CEO, who was an electro-mechanical engineering graduate with a doctorate in Applied Sciences. The next was GP’s project manager, Nicolas Naniot, who graduated as an electro-mechanic engineer with expertise in energetic management of the hybrid vehicle as well as digital communication systems. The third founder, Bernard Loly, graduated with a degree in automation and was responsible for the practical construction of test and prototypes at Green Propulsion. Loly’s expertise was focused mainly on mechanics, electricity and electronics. The founders along with Luc Etienne, a director at Interface which is the technological transfer service of the University of Liege, set up GP in December 2001. The main reason GP was founded, was solely based on the belief that hybrid motorization would be the future for the car manufacturing industry.
After reading the case multiple times, and based on the list of issues/symptoms that I did found within the case, I have found that there are multiple problem statements that I could formulate. What the case keeps emphasizing the most is that with the growing interest in the sustainability and “going green” initiatives, more industries are entering into the market and investing large amounts of money and energy into creating an electric engine. Being the small company they are, how can they maintain their technological advancements with the means that they have at the moment while not diluting their organizational culture that encompasses the belief of being ethical that they hold so high in their company? Can they be so selective in their search for suppliers and still survive? Theses are just a few of the problems that I found within the case, and I feel that most of their issues stem from the problem stated above.
External Environment Analysis:
The external environment contains and analyzes everything outside the firm. To make observations and conduct analyses we must first look at the general environment that the firm operates in. For the general environment we must look into certain dimensions that include technological, political-legal, sociocultural, and the global segments. First, I would like to discuss the sociocultural segment. After reading the case, it is easy to conclude that the growing trend is all about “going green” and exhibiting a more sustainable, pollution free place to live. With so many reports coming out about how the environment is in trouble with the belief in global warming, and how cars are producing so many harmful toxins and polluting the atmosphere, people are starting to look at more energy efficient vehicles to suit there newly embraced lifestyle which emphasizes being environmentally conscious. With this being the case, big automobile giants as well as small firms, like Green Propulsion, are trying to supply this trend with more efficient hybrid vehicles.
As for the global segment of the general environment, the electric car industry was only in its growth stage and gaining popularity quickly in the first decade of the 21st century. So in 2010, the Chinese government issued a five-year plan that concentrated on making China one of the major players in producing hybrids and all electric vehicles by 2015. “Chinese car producers such as BYD, Chery Automobile Co, and Geely (which had acquired Volvo) quickly became contenders overnight.” (Green Propulsion: Is small beautiful) The industry was given a massive boost by the Chinese government, which encouraged 13 major cities to adopt green