There is a new demand for an interesting aspect of cars in the US, cup holders. Bigger and more cup holders is the trend stated in a Wall Street Journal article written by Chester Dawson. International car manufacturers are adjusting to the soft drinks served in massive cups at places like McDonald’s and 7-Eleven. “Success in the U.S. car market depends on satisfying consumers’ exacting demands. Right now, few things are more in demand than cup holders — lots of them, big ones, in many shapes and sizes,” said Dawson.
In Japan, Subaru Corp. is leading the pack with 19 cup holders in its Ascent SUV. The vehicle only seats eight, which means there are over two cup holders per person when the max capacity of the SUV is satisfied. One Indiana mother of four, Christa Ellis, said “she cares less about engine displacement than cup holders.” As the demand for them increase, so does the technology associated with assembling a cup holder. Cup holders are becoming more versatile as customers are using them for more than just cups, and companies like Ford are applying for patents to make the cup holder more stable when cars are travelling on inclines and declines. Some of the newer cars have cup holders with LED lights, and warming and chilling capabilities.
Luxury vehicles created in countries like Germany were late adopters to installing cup holders in its cars. Drinking in cars during the ‘90s had low class appeal. Car enthusiasts who bought luxurious cars frowned upon in car beverage consumption. “’For years, Mercedes was convinced we should teach Americans to drink their coffee at home,’ says Daimler AG Chief Executive Dieter Zetsche. ‘Obviously, that didn’t work out so well.’” Now, in the new Urus SUV, Lamborghini introduced its first car with multiple cup holders.
Process capability is the ability of the process to meet the design specifications for a service or product. With the increasing demand for cup holders, Lamborghini and Subaru Corp. alike are adapting to the process to meet the design specifications of a product. All car companies are enhancing the design specifications to please American customers. Fiat Chrysler cars have a model for both a small sized coffee cup in emerging marketing and a cup holder fit to hold a 32 once Burger King soft drink in North America. Car companies are also changing their designs to fit self-driving cars. “Industry officials say the move toward self-driving cars will further the need for more places to store cups and objects like smartphones and tablets, as commuters have more time to sit back and enjoy the ride.”
While reading this article, I thought of a few questions. Are international luxury car companies, like Lamborghini, going to be forced to change its car designs to expand its market share in the US where the demand for new, bigger, and more cup holders is increasing? How many cup holders is too many? What affect did fast food restaurants and convenience stores have on the increasing demand for cup holders?