This case covers the first ten years of operations for a startup recumbent tricycle manufacturer, Big Cat HPV LLC. The case follows Paulo Camasmie and explores the wide range of business issues he experienced when he moved from Brazil to the U.S. in 2000 to start his own firm building recumbent tricycles. As of 2010, Big Cat was the world’s largest recumbent tricycle manufacturer having just introduced its first recumbent bicycle, which was an immediate success. The issues discussed include distribution, marketing, sales, product design, production control, cost control, product features, and competitive analysis. All of that can be integrated with the firm’s actual income statements from 2000 through 2007 (later years are omitted for confidentiality).
The case can be used in a wide range of courses. I have taught it in both managerial and financial accounting courses but it can be used in general management, production, marketing, or strategy/policy courses because it covers everything Paulo considered important for his firm during the first ten years of the firm’s operations.
A primary issue is shipping costs. Recumbent tricycles occupy a large amount of shipping space per dollar of production cost; recumbent bicycles occupy less space per dollar of production cost. The case also includes enough cost information that students can evaluate whether Paulo can compete with low-cost producers from Taiwan in 2010, and possibly even lower cost producers from China within a few years.
The case does not include balance sheets, but students can prepare estimated balance sheets based on information in the case. They can also evaluate Big Cat’s prospects for the future.