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AWA - Motorcycle X

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theolck Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts Default Avatar
Joined
26 Sep 2016
Posted:
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AWA - Motorcycle X

Post Mon Sep 26, 2016 2:40 am
The following appeared as part of an article in the business section of a local newspaper.

“Motorcycle X has been manufactured in the United States for over 70 years. Although one foreign company has copied the motorcycle and is selling it for less, the company has failed to attract motorcycle X customers - some say because its product lacks the exceptionally loud noise made by motorcycle X. But there must be some other explanation. After all, foreign cars tend to be quieter than similar American-made cars, but they sell at least as well. Also, television advertisements for motorcycle X highlight its durability and sleek lines, not its noisiness, and the ads typically have voice-overs or rock music rather than engine-roar on the sound track.”

Discuss how well reasoned you find this argument. In your discussion be sure to analyze the line of reasoning and the use of evidence in the argument. For example, you may need to consider what questionable assumptions underlie the thinking and what alternative explanations of counterexamples might weaken the conclusion. You can also discuss what sort of evidence would strengthen or refute the argument, what changes in the argument would make it more logically sound, and what, if anything, would help you better evaluate its conclusion.

The argument attributes the motorcycles from one foreign company not doing as well as Motorcycle X to the exceptionally loud noise made by the latter but not by the former. At first glance, this appears to be convincing but further reflection reveals that it is based on several flawed assumptions.

Firstly, the author assumes that the foreign company would be able to attract motorcycle X’s customers simply because it is selling for less. He fails to consider that people look at more than the price when considering a purchase. This is especially true for long-term assets such as a vehicle where buying an inferior motorcycle might lead to higher costs in the long run due to upkeep. Hence, aside from the price, the brand name might have played a part in the foreign company’s failure to attract customers. Since motorcycle X has been manufactured in the United States for over 70 years, it would be fair to assume that it has a solid reputation. In comparison, the foreign company has just entered the market and is selling its product as what would appear to be a cheap imitation. Therefore, it is no wonder that customers would think twice before switching their loyalty.

Secondly, the argument uses a weak analogy involving sales of American-made cars to evaluate the motorcycle industry. Whilst both motorcycles and cars are both classified as vehicles, they are inherently different. Motorcycles as seen from their television advertisements which typically have voice-overs or rock music are often bought for style. Cars on the other hand, are typically a symbol of luxury and comfort. Both vehicles target an entirely different set of consumers. Each set of consumers would have their own preference and would be looking out for different characteristics. For example, one would not smell a watermelon as they would an apple despite the two being fruits. Therefore, it is unfair and illogical to deduce that because quieter foreign cars sell just as well as American-made cars, quieter foreign motorcycles should sell just as well as American-made motorcycles as well.

Lastly, the article emphasizes the noise being produced by motorcycle x as one of the leading factor for its stronger sales despite there being no evidence indicating such. In fact, the television advertisement for motorcycle x does not even highlight its noisiness as one of its selling point. It is also stated that motorcycle advertisements typically have voice-overs or rock music rather than the engine roar as its soundtrack. Yet, the argument apportions a large proportion of the blame on the lack of noise by the motorcycle from the foreign company. This is highly presumptions as there had been no research done to investigate the characteristics people look for when buying a motorcycle. The least the author could have done was to have conducted a survey questionnaire to find out why the people who bought motorcycle x chose it over its competitors.

In conclusion, the argument is weak because the author based it on a flawed assumption, used a weak analogy and failed to find any statistical evidence to back himself up. To strengthen the argument, he could have used a more apt comparison and conducted survey questionnaires to back up his points.

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