The Rs 20-crore Maruti 800 account is up for the grabs. Industry sources close to agencyfaqs! indicated that Maruti Udyog Limited (MUL) has invited pitches from its existing agencies Lintas, Rediffusion DY&R, Capital and the newly appointed Saatchi & Saatchi, as well as from new ones like Mudra and Triton.
A senior executive at MUL confirmed the review and said the company was "looking for a fresh approach in its brand marketing and new advertising strategies", as its current strategies "may not have been adequate to stall competition". Talking to agencyfaqs!, Rohtash Mal, chief general manager, marketing and sales, said, "Our move follows the increase in the company's scope of business and its focus areas over the last couple of years."
Over the last three months, MUL has reconfigured two important accounts. It shifted the Rs 20 crore corporate advertising business to Capital Advertising, an account earlier handled by Rediffusion. Then, with the hope of regaining lost ground from Hyundai's Santro, MUL went ahead and entrusted the Rs 4 crore WagonR account to Saatchi & Saatchi.
These drastic moves from MUL come in the wake of dwindling sales volumes in the last one year. According to reports, the company suffered a 37 per cent fall in overall sales in June 2000 alone. It sold only 14,715 units in June this year against 23,469 units in June 1999.
The company, however, claimed that it had operated its plants for only 15 days during June this year against 21 days in June last year. As a matter of routine, every June MUL shuts down its plant for its annual maintenance.
However, the fact remains that the sales of each of the Maruti brands have been hit. Consider the June figures for each to get an idea. The company sold 3,972 units of Zen as against 4,622 units of Zen in June last year. Sales of Wagon-R during June this year stood at 1,180 units.
In the mid-size segment, the company sold 756 units of Esteem as against 1,323 units in June last year. While the Baleno clocked sales of 239 units in June this year, the bread-and-butter Maruti-800 recorded a sharp drop, selling only 5,298 units last month against 12,164 units in June 1999. Sales of Omni stood at 3,270 units in June this year, as against 5,322 units sold in June last year.
© 2000 agencyfaqs!