2. Two manufacturers currently are competing for sales in two different but equally profitable…

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2. Two manufacturers currently are competing for sales in two different but equally profitable product lines. In both cases the sales volume for manufacturer 2 is three times as large as that for manufacturer 1. Because of a recent technological breakthrough, both manufacturers will be making a major improvement in both products. However, they are uncertain as to what development and marketing strategy to follow.

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If both product improvements are developed simultaneously, either manufacturer can have them ready for sale in 12 months. Another alternative is to have a “crash program” to develop only one product first to try to get it marketed ahead of the competition. By doing this, manufacturer 2 could have one product ready for sale in 9 months, whereas manufacturer 1 would require 10 months (because of previous commitments for its production facilities). For either manufacturer, the second product could then be ready for sale in an additional 9 months.

For either product line, if both manufacturers market their improved models simultaneously, it is estimated that manufacturer1would increase its share of the total future sales of this product by 8 percent of the total (from 25 to 33 percent). Similarly, manufacturer 1 would increase its share by 20, 30, and 40 percent of the total if it marketed the product sooner than manufacturer 2 by 2, 6, and 8 months, respectively. On the other hand, manufacturer1would lose 4, 10, 12, and 14 percent of the total if manufacturer 2 marketed it sooner by 1, 3, 7, and 10 months, respectively.

Formulate this problem as a two-person, zero-sum game, and then determine which strategy the respective manufacturers should use according to the minimax criterion.


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