Downstream glass manufacturing is local, because each market has its own characteristics, it is low scale production and it is the most important success factor is good customer relationship. This step was seen as successful by some and unsuccessful by others. During the diversification in the automotive industry the company also acquired other business of similar profile, which was seen as successful. Later on, Pilkington entered the ophthalmologic and contact lens industry, which was characterized by every analyst as failure and the manufacturer abandoned these projects. However, during this last diversification, the company didnt disinvest immediately after the management realised that it wouldnt pay off. After acquiring the ophthalmologic capabilities and being faced with unsuccessful results, the manufacturer tried to find solutions to get back on the track that would maintain the investment. Consequently, the company moved forward to contact lenses area. Pilkington had both successes and failure in its diversification strategies and throughout its long experience is this domain, it learnt that some diversifications just dont pay off because they are too far from the core business.
Intel is one of worlds largest semiconductor manufacturers and the investor of x86 computer microprocessors. Its diversification into related areas sent its revenues to the ceiling. In 2001, the company decided to extend its operations to a non-related field: VoIP technologies. However the company decided to sell its VoIP business 3 years later as this service took off too slow. The management is currently focusing on its core business in which it is committed to invest extensively.
Honda is a Japanese automotive manufacturer, who is also producing trucks, jets, motorbikes, scooters, ATVs, marine engines, electric generators, lawn and garden equipment and other mobile technologies. The companys activity is quite diversified, both horizontally and geographically. Hamel and Prahalad (1994) found that there was a positive correlation between the companys diversification strategy and its commercial success. However, Mair (1999) argued that the Hamel and Prahalad offered no causal linkages for the correlation and in fact the commercial success is explained by the companys core products: automobile and motorbikes, whereas all other products account for a small percentage of its revenue.
It is very difficult to conclude that the companys wide diversification didnt impact its commercial success just because the revenues generated by non-core products are a small percentage of total sales. Diversification is not only about sales, but also about developing capabilities, such as: market knowledge, product and technology know-how and so one. At the first sight, Hondas diversification seems to be a success and an example to be followed by many other multinational companies and its strategy covered a large number of domains, foreign territories and sometimes stages along the value chain.
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