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EMAC 2023 Annual

Brand and Product Deletion in the Global Automobile Industry

Published: May 24, 2023


Purvi Shah, Worcester Polytechnic Institute; Huma Varzgani, Worcester Polytechnic Institute


The automobile industry is not only one of the largest but also one of the most important industries in the world. Similarly, brand/product deletion are crucial strategic tools. However, academic literature lacks a detailed investigation of brand/product deletion decision in the automobile industry. This research aims to fill this research gap by investigating brand/product deletion in the automobile industry, through qualitative thematic analysis of archival data about the deletion decisions of the top five Global Fortune 500 automobile companies. It was found that automobile firms deleted brands/products due to financial underperformance, changing consumer needs, impact on other products/brands in the portfolio, a shift in the strategic focus, and influence of external factors. In addition, caselets were crafted to narrate the deletion stories of three automobile brands, Yaris, Scion, and Prius. This research has theoretical and managerial implications.