Project 1
Sales Forecast Memo
due before 11:59 PM (midnight) Wednesday, 5 FEB (Week 4)

The number of dealerships selling new cars in the U.S. reported on January 1 for the years 1992 through 2013 is shown in the table below:


period YEAR NEW-CAR
DEALERSHIPS
1 1992 23,500
2 1993 22,950
3 1994 22,850
4 1995 22,800
5 1996 22,750
6 1997 22,700
7 1998 22,600
8 1999 22,400
9 2000 22,250
10 2001 22,150
11 2002 21,800
12 2003 21,725
13 2004 21,650
14 2005 21,640
15 2006 21,495
16 2007 21,200
17 2008 20,770
18 2009 20,010
19 2010 18,460
20 2011 17,700
21 2012 17,540
22 2013 17,635
23 2014 ???

Assignment:

Prepare a formal memo discussing (supporting, defending) your expectations for the number of dealerships in the US selling new cars that will be reported next to the year 2014.  Your expectations should consider not only the historical data in the table above, but must also consider commonly known issues in the past and current marketing environment.  By "commonly known," I mean that you should not conduct any sort of external research of the marketing environment, but rather are expected to consider environmental trends in the US and worldwide about which a reasonably aware person should have familiarity.  That is, forecasting requires a lot of assumptions, and your ability to persuasively use relevant assumptions are an important part of your memo.

Your memo, no more than about a page in length, MUST contain the following elements (in order):

  • your name
  • statement of objective
  • description of method
  • discussion of facts and assumptions
  • conclusions

If you have questions, be sure to post on the class discussion board (Blackboard).  Before posting any questions or comments, however, be sure that you have studied reading assignments relevant to the marketing environment, marketing strategy, marketing research, and forecasting.

I will open only ONE file for this assignment, no matter how many you attempt to upload.  The file must be in MS Word (.doc or .docx) format and your document must print in portrait (not landscape) orientation on 8.5 x 11 inch paper.  If you want to add an appendix to the end your report -- additional pages for tables, graphs, calculations, and such -- it must be part of the same, single MS Word file that you upload. 

Length is expected to be about a page, single spaced.  Be sure that your name is typed at the top of your report followed by a report name that identifies the project.

While you are encouraged to collaborate with other members of the class (on the Blackboard forum and on your own) when thinking about how to work through these case assignments, THE WRITTEN REPORT THAT YOU SUBMIT MUST BE YOUR OWN WORK.  Note that this is a marketing report, so a report that focuses only on numeric calculations is inadequate.

HOW/WHERE TO MAKE YOUR SUBMISSION

  • Click on the "Start Here" or "Content" link in the left menu on your Blackboard course home page
  • Click on this project assignment
  • Click the " Browse My Computer" button in the middle of the page to find the file on your computer that you want to submit for this assignment
  • Find the file you want to submit and click on it
  • Click the "Submit" button on the bottom right of the page

Be sure that you have selected the correct file! One way to ensure that you don't make any mistakes is to create a special directory on your computer that is used only for the final submission, and put only one file in it.  That way, you won't accidentally click on the wrong draft of your submission or unintentionally submit a letter you had intended to send to your great aunt.