Auto Companies Sport New Marketing Thrust For SUVs

Mumbai | Updated: Apr 27 2004, 05:30am hrs
In the sports utility vehicle (SUV) segment in India, a new marketing war is brewing. Even as Mahindra & Mahindra is in the process of rolling out an integrated marketing plan to promote its new launch Scorpio SLX, Tata Motors is stepping up its customer relationship management (CRM) activities to popularise its SUV model Tata Safari.

Strapped with the adline New Scorpio, the talking car, Scorpio SLX hit the Indian roads last month. And to announce its new launch, Mahindra & Mahindra has launched an aggressive print campaign which has been created by Interface Communications.

On M&Ms communication plans, says Interface Communications CEO Niteen Bhagwat: We have supported the campaign with below-the-line activities like SMS-based campaigns.

And to support this multi-media campaign, the company plans to kick off a slew of online marketing activities by putting up banners in leading Websites, says Mr Bhagwat. Our ad strategy is to highlight the merit of the new Scorpio: the car talks to you with its multi-sensor voice assist system. Hence, the headline readsIt does what no other car canit talks, adds Mr Bhagwat.

Says M&M vice-president (marketing) Rajesh Jejurikar: The new Scorpio variant is positioned as car plus in the upper end of the C segment. For the first time, we have integrated press ads with SMS-based campaigns. To promote Scorpio, the company has a slew of marketing plans in the pipeline. However, Mr Jejurikar was reluctant to reveal his companys future plans.

Across the road, Tata Motors is beefing up its loyalty programme Explorer Club to popularise its brand Tata Safari. Says OgilvyOne (the relationship marketing wing of Ogilvy Worldwide) country manager Preetha Singh: We are looking at providing new offers to our club members. To promote this loyalty programme, we are chalking out new plansbut its too early to talk about these.

Meanwhile, Toyota Qualis has roped in well-known cricketer Mohinder Amarnath to promote its limited edition Qualis Myst.

Clearly, Indian auto majors are now stepping on the gas with renewed marketing plans to woo new customers.