Currently, six to seven agencies are in the process, of which two will be selected. The size of the business could not be ascertained. The incumbent creative agency on the account is TBWA India, which came on board in 2012. The media agency is Omnicom Media Group, which got the business in 2013.
For the record, VECV is the 50:50 joint venture between Swedish company Volvo Group and Eicher Motors. The JV was set up in 2008 and in 2010, which includes the complete range of Eicher trucks and buses, Eicher's components and engineering design services businesses as well as the sales and distribution business of Volvo trucks within India.
VECV invested Rs 2,880 million in its Pithampur plant in Madhya Pradesh to manufacture and assemble a new medium duty engine, VE Powertrain, which the company plans to introduce in Volvo trucks and buses worldwide over the years.
The search for a new agency assumes importance considering the fact that sales of commercial vehicles, especially heavy-duty trucks, are reviving after two years of weak sales. VECV itself has plans of launching new vehicles this year.
According to the data released by the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM), sales of medium and heavy commercial vehicles (M&HCV) sales in the April-November 2014 period increased to 116,483 units from 104,685 in the corresponding period in 2013, but VECV witnessed a drop of 4.7 per cent. VECV sold 13,160 in April-November 2014 while it managed 13,809 units in the corresponding period in 2013. It has done well in exports though - sales shot up by 82.1 per cent, from 1,342 units sold in April-November 2013 to 2,444 trucks in the same period in 2014.
VECW is looking at 2015 as the year of revival and is planning a slew of launches this year. These include heavy-duty trucks ranging from 5 to 49 tonnes. It is also hoping to take its export performance up a notch or two.
VECV has used digital initiatives to promote its buses in the past. In December last year, it launched the Eicher Skyline Pro Series buses (light duty school and tourist buses) with online media promotions that were carried out by the incumbent agency. It will be interesting to watch the mandate that the new agency gets from VECV.