This is clearly a time for the "Survival of the fittest" (contrary to popular belief , the quote was made by Herbert Spencer and not by darwin). If fittest stands for strongest or most intellect only elephants and foxes would be surviving among the rest(discounting homo sapiens sapiens). The fittest in my opinion means the most adaptable animal or species which could adjust itself to the hardships of changing environments and acquire newer skills. This applies to businesses as well.
It has been very boring to be saying that we are going through historically transformations times and this is the most difficult era of the current generation/living memory etc. HenceI was trying to see how businesses are shaping their strategies to survive in this environment and one that really caught my eyes is the "Hyundai Assurance Plus" program.
The main reason why majority of the population are not willing to spend (i spent quite a lot over this weekend promotional sales due to domestic compulsions :-( ) is because of the fear of job loss. This is a vicious cycle as the lesser spending break even more business and hence more job loss (Prisoners dilemma). Interestingly Hyundai has taken advantage of this tricky situation and guarantees that one need not pay for the first three months after losing the job and if the job loss continues beyond three months , they can simply return the car. This is a very clever more where in Hyundai has just wrapped an additonal job loss insurance cover and has marketed it very effectively. The clever strategy has paid well and while Toyota car sales has slumped by 36% , hyundai's sale has gone up by 4-5% in US.
Hyundai is definetely not the strongest car company of the world, they are not the company with the best R&D team in the world(Is it Merc/BMW?), but they are adaptable evidently. Please check out Hyndai commercials/website alternatively you could wait for 1 more month to read the "Successful Recession Business Strategies" by some of the management gurus for 30$.