Hyundai Sonata up for grabs

By , agencyfaqs! | In | July 31, 2003
Among the agencies vying for the Rs 2-crore business are Leo Burnett, McCann-Erickson and Ambience

All's fair in wars and cars.

At least that's what marketers at Hyundai Motor India (HMI) seem to believe in. The company has reshuffled its agency portfolio in India with unfailing regularity to, presumably, win the war in the car market.

This time round, Hyundai Motor India, the wholly-owned subsidiary of Hyundai Motor Company, has put the creative duties of its luxury sedan Sonata on the block. Among the agencies vying for the Rs 2-crore business are Leo Burnett, McCann-Erickson and Ambience. The incumbent is SSC&B, which helped launch the brand in the country in 2001.

Executives close to the event say that Hyundai wants to retain a third agency on the roster, which is why its two other panel agencies - Grey Worldwide Indian and Saatchi & Saatchi - have not been asked to make presentations for the current business. Besides the Sonata, HMI has two other brands on the Indian roads - Santro and Accent - with the launch of a third brand just round the corner. For the record, Grey handles the Accent (Rs 8-crore account) and Terracan (account size between Rs 3 and 5 crore) accounts, and Saatchi & Saatchi is the custodian of Santro (Rs 12-15 crore). The AOR remains with Zenith Media.

Sonata would be a clear coup for any agency, given the potential of the business as well as the prestige factor. No wonder the hush-hush nature of the pitch. After much persuasion, some members of the Chennai advertising fraternity did confirm the move, though company executives could not be reached for comment. Sources say, the company brass is busy in Chennai putting finishing touches to the launch plan of the Teraccan. HMI's sports utility vehicle is ready to hit the Indian roads next week. © 2003 agencyfaqs!

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