If General Motors succeeds in bringing a fuel cell vehicle to market by 2015, it is going to have to figure out how to build it. In recent years, GM has released a raft of new products, many of which have received critical acclaim but only limited commercial success. Much of the blame for the disappointing sales has been attributed to mediocre marketing. Over the past year, vice chairman has taken the lead on revamping GM's marketing efforts. He is retiring at the end of this month.

GM is looking for new marketing blood, and has gone to the University at Buffalo for help in figuring out how to sell fuel cell vehicles. Buffalo has an interesting position in GM's fuel cell plans. The research and development facility at Honeoye Falls is east of Buffalo and the hydro-electric generating stations at Niagara Falls just north of the city could be a source of hydrogen. Professor Arun Jain is running a semester-long project with 100 MBA students with the aim of developing marketing plans for hydrogen vehicles. Developing a marketing plan for vehicle that doesn't exist in a future market that remains unknown can be quite a challenge. The students have been tasked with figuring out to sell 100,000 fuel cell vehicles in the first year, growing to 250,000 by the third year. Who wants an A?

[Source: Buffalo News]

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