Du Pont Kevlar Aramid Industrial Fiber (Abridged)

1448 words 6 pages
The case “Du Pont Kevlar Aramid Industrial Fiber (Abridged)” states the development history of Du Pont’s products, and focuses on investing and marketing of Kevlar.

Kevlar is a fiber which Howard W. Swank, general manager of Du Pont’s Textile Fibers Department, and other Textile Fibers Department’s managers were keen on. Kevlar is based on the former products of Du Pont, such as nylon, and Nomex Aramid fiber. Kevlar’s development was closely related to that of Nomex. It is a much stronger and stiff fiber than nylon and steel, and can be stable at high temperatures. After the Fiber-B first came out in 1960s, Du Pont found some problems with it. Two years later, Fiber B-1, which is also called Kevlar Aramid fiber, came out with better
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Another problem is when Du Pont entered the market, the case says“a 50 million-pound Kevlar plant would provide the necessary economics of scale for Kevlar to compete with steel tire cord”. Du Pont focused on the economics of scale for Kevlar, and the market share it needed to earn. But Du Pont forgot the market needs. Did the market need 50 million pounds Kevlar? Since the marketing consumption was going up every year, Du Pont had better produce 50 million pounds more than if it wanted to maintain market share. If Du Pont wanted to break even in the fifth commercial year, actually, how many pounds should it have produced per year? Should Du Pont focus on more markets?

As we mentioned above, the competition in the tire cord market was not just between Kevlar and steel. Polyester, nylon, fiberglass, and rayon were all strong competitors in the tire cord market. Kevlar was also better than those old materials, so it should have used its advantages to earn more market share in the whole tire cord market. Du Pont ignored the whole market, and it just paid attention to the radial tire market. Even though in the radial tire market, Kevlar had more advantages than steel – it was easier to ship, stronger, and can be used on tire manufacturing equipment – but the price was another problem. When compared to the other materials, Kevlar had a higher cost, and the Textile Fiber Department