The promoters of monthly car and bike magazine Autocar India plans to launch a speciality magazine on two-wheelers. While the title of the two-wheeler magazine is still under wraps, the magazine is likely to be a monthly and would be priced lower than Autocar India, which is priced at Rs 60. Talking about the audience profile of the two-wheeler magazine, editor Hormazd Sorabjee says, "The two-wheeler magazine will appeal to a younger audience, the college-going bikers. These readers will not have the same levels of disposable income as Autocar India readers." The group plans to launch a spin off - a photography magazine.
The distribution model of the two-wheeler magazine will be similar to that of Autocar India, which is a combination of newsstands and subscriptions, with the bulk of the sales coming from newsstands.
While the group has not commissioned a formal research on this yet, Sorabjee says reader responses and letters from them encouraged the group to think on the lines of a new magazine. "The basis for contemplating a two-wheeler magazine is our reading of the market. We feel there is a distinct difference between someone who wants to know about cars and someone who wants to know about bikes. Of course, this is all based on gut feel, we will back this up with proper research and only if the research shows that there is a market, will we proceed."
Incidentally, both the projects - the two-wheeler and the photography magazine - would be the property of Autocar India, and have no relation to Haymarket Publishing (which owns the title Autocar, among others). The changing market conditions have created space for more such niche magazines. "The interest levels in cars and bikes have gone up considerably which has benefited us. Also, a couple of auto magazines have closed down in the past couple of years, which has made this segment less crowded."
The publication is banking on its growing popularity to create goodwill in the market for the to-be-launched magazines. The publication claims its circulation has shot up to 86,400 copies since its launch in September 1999. "Autocar India has been the critical source of information for both consumers and the industry, which makes it a 'must-read' title for anyone interested in cars and bikes. Autocar India's road tests are the core of the magazine's expertise and the verdicts have become the benchmark by which all automobiles are judged," says Sorabjee.
What gives Autocar India an edge over others is the access to the archives of 108 year-old Autocar (UK), the first car magazine in the world, and other motoring titles from the Haymarket Group of publications such as What Car? Motor Sport, Autosport, F1 Racing (the world's largest selling Formula One magazine) and the LAT Archive (the world's largest motoring picture library).
In fact, Autocar India is the only publication in India to be given the exclusive first rights to publish all the JD Power reports on car quality and customer satisfaction. NFO Automotive has also given Autocar India the rights to first publish the results of all its automobile surveys. "The simple fact that both these highly reputed automotive research agencies trust only Autocar India speaks volumes about the credibility of the magazine," adds Sorabjee.
Autocar has entered into some interesting relationships to promote the brand. The magazine has tied up with Castrol to increase road safety awareness and is conducting a special 'Safe Driving Programme' aimed at young drivers. Road travel is another area where Autocar India is at the 'forefront'. Autocar provides information to motorists to make road travel easier and safer. In 2001, Autocar India conducted a unique drive from Kargil to Kanyakumari (K2K), which was followed by K2K2, a West to East drive from Kutch to Kivithoo (in Arunachal Pradesh) in 2003. © 2003 agencyfaqs!