Rick Roetken, a manager at Carrier Corporation, is considering the marketability of products using a new air-conditioning refrigerant, R410A. The Clean Air Act called for the gradual elimination of all ozone-depleting refrigerants, including the commonly used Freon 22, but many years remained before they would be banned altogether. R410A, which was produced by Allied Signal, looked to be the likely environmentally friendly replacement. Carrier was the first to incorporate the new refrigerant in some of its air-conditioners, but dealers and distributors had been reluctant to sell the new products, and early sales results were disappointing. Nevertheless, focus group research indicated the new products might have considerable appeal to consumers. After reviewing the research, Roetken wondered whether a positioning strategy could be found that would justify additional investment in the R410A line.
Darden Business Publishing – University of Virginia