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22 Sep 2013, 10:20
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... etc.
The author concludes that is not possible that a motorcycle similar but cheaper than motorcycle X is not able to attract motorcycle X customers only because the lacking of loud noise made by motorcycle X. The author supports its view with two reasons. First, foreing cars quieter than similar American cars sell at least as well; second, television advertisements for motorcycle X don't highlight its loud noise. The author's line of reasoning is characterized by two problems.
To begin with, the author assumes that car and motorcycle customers pretend the same features from cars and motorcycles. This is not the case, because one who buys a car usually wants smooth drive, comfort and many other optionals. One who buys a motorcycle, instead, usually wants a challenging and extreme experience, and seldom wants the comfort of a car. Loud noise for example is a feature that increases the sporty character of a motorcycle, and in this case it seems to be a fundamental feature of motorcycle X.
In addition, the author assumes that because television advertisements don't highlight noisiness of motorcycle X, this is not important. It could be another explanation for the lacking of the noise in the advertisements. For example, since motorcycle X has been manufactured and sold in the United Stated for over 70 years, it is possible that motorcycle X customers already know very well its exceptional noise, and there is no need to waste time repeating it in an advertisement; in fact, it would be better to glorify motorcycle X with some famous rock music.
In conclusion, as it stands, this is a weak argument. To strengthen it, the author must demonstrate that cars and motorcycles customers want the same features from either a car or a motorcycle and that television advertisements for motorcycle X don't highlight its noise because it is not so important.