Briggs & Stratton Corporation (B&S), founded in 1908 and with its corporate headquarters in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, is the world’s largest general purpose engine manufacturer. In 1953 the company succeeded in developing a lightweight, low-cost aluminum cylinder engine, which ignited a spark of innovation in the lawn and gardening tools industry. Seeing a new threat in the Japanese made engines around 1980, the company developed its never-before-seen general purpose V-twin engines as a countermeasure, targeting toward markets demanding the extremely high reliability of engines meant for industrial and business use. In order to produce these engines with Japanese-style craftsmanship, the company established a joint venture in Japan named Daihatsu Briggs & Stratton (hereafter, DBS) in 1986, and launched its high-quality Vanguard® brand.
Above all else, the company was able to establish new product segments in the market such as the general purpose V-twin engines.
The general purpose engine market has seen difficult times since 2000 and manufacturers need to find new ways to address these difficulties.
In this case, the company is considering various hypothetical business options and capabilities based on the characteristics of its general purpose engine business and revealing the latest details about B&S’ Vanguard® business and DBS’s finances.
On one hand, we have the Vice President of the parent company B&S, whose viewpoint revolves around investigating the current state and future trends of the company’s Vanguard® V-twin business and the joint venture firm DBS.
On the other hand, we have the Vice president of DBS, whose opinions derive from the standpoint of a joint venture firm formed with foreign capital; the business has evolved into much more of an International business, which was not foreseen in the original contracts.