There's still some way to go for the India launch of the brand, but the buzz is unmistakable. While most car enthusiasts are chattering excitedly, industry experts are already drawing up a (wish list?) list of models likely to be launched under the brand umbrella. It's quite natural, really - the brand in question is American badge brand, Chevrolet. Interestingly, at the press conference held in the capital yesterday, officials from General Motors (GM) desisted from naming specific Chevrolet models that the company is planning to launch in India.
There is a reason for keeping things under the lid. The company is cleverly using the run-up to the scheduled launch of the cars to create awareness about the iconic brand. Awareness? For Chevrolet? "Car enthusiasts will know about Chevrolet, but what the general public?" asks Aditya Vij, president & managing director, General Motors India.
To put things in perspective, GM has identified Chevrolet as a global brand, with a presence in several parts of the globe. Currently, Chevrolet is present in Latin America, as well as in some countries in the Asia-Pacific, such as Indonesia, Thailand, and the Philippines. In line with the global expansion of the brand, GM had decided to introduce Chevrolet in India.
The Chevrolet brand, in its ninety-second year of existence and sporting the legendary 'bow-tie' logo, has been part of automobile folklore across the globe. Keeping with this tradition and spirit of the brand, GM India, in tandem with its recently appointed advertising agency, Enterprise Nexus, is launching a unique advertising campaign, 'I am Chevrolet', to reach out to Indians. The campaign is estimated to see spends to the tune of Rs 3-4 crore.
Talking about the campaign, Vinay Dixit, vice-president, marketing, sales & after sales, GM, says, "The whole idea of the 'I am Chevrolet' campaign is to make the brand culturally relevant so that it meets the need of the Indian market." To this end, the agency would be rolling out multiple executions of the campaign - the first of which is likely to hit television by the end of the month.
The objective is to position Chevrolet as the smart choice. "Chevrolet aims to become the smart choice in a mainstream market by delivering better value through styling, features and performance," states Dixit. "The introduction of the brand in this market represents a significant milestone for GM in India, and for the auto industry. This is also symbolic of the significant plans General Motors has for India. True to GM's worldwide vision, we intend to make Chevrolet the most admired and preferred automotive brand in India."
The company is confident that the attention on Chevrolet would not, in any way, shift focus from its other offering, Opel. "Opel has emerged as one of the strongest brands in the automotive industry," remarks Vij. "This is reflected in the strong brand equity that Opel enjoys amongst discerning customers. Chevrolet will complement GM's brand portfolio in India."
In fact, what emerges is that Opel will remain GM's premium offering, while Chevrolet goes for the 'mainstream market'. Based on this fact, automotive experts conjecture the cars that are likely to be launched under the Chevrolet brand could be Isuzu Panther (a utility vehicle), Daewoo's Nubira and Matiz, and the SUV, Subaru Forrester.
Currently GM sells the Astra, Corsa, Swing and Vectra sub-brands under the Opel brand, and more models are in the process of being introduced. Gearing itself for this - and the launch of Chevrolet - GM India has embarked on an ambitious programme to widen its reach across the country by growing its dealer network and authorised service outlets (which currently number about 80) to 100 in six months' time. © 2003 agencyfaqs!