Alokananda Chakraborty

GM moves Rs 14-crore advertising account

General Motors India splits its creative duties between Ambience D’Arcy and Enterprise Nexus and designates Universal McCann as the AOR

After close to three-months of deliberation, General Motors India (GMI) has finally identified the agencies among whom it plans to relocate the advertising accounts of its three brands - Corsa, Astra and Swing. The size of the total business is Rs 12-Rs 14 crore.

Information available with agencyfaqs! indicates Enterprise Nexus will be the custodian of the Corsa and the Swing accounts and Ambience D'Arcy will handle Astra. The entire media account will be consolidated with Universal McCann. While no confirmation on this was available from GMI, the move was confirmed by senior sources at the three agencies involved.

The GMI brands were earlier split between McCann-Erickson and Grey Worldwide India, with the former handling the Corsa and the Swing businesses and Grey handling Astra. In fact, McCann-Erickson had been associated with GMI since 1995, when it entered India with Astra. What is interesting about the latest move is that for the first time GMI would be splitting its creative and media duties in India.

agencyfaqs! understands GMI's contract with its earlier agencies was supposed to run out in July. With that in mind, GMI invited eight agencies to pitch for the business. The first round happened in April and those that participated in that round included Enterprise Nexus, Ambience D'Arcy, McCann-Erickson and Grey, besides Everest, O&M, Euro RSCG and Contract. That was a straight credentials presentation.

In the second round, the number of agencies was narrowed down to five and included Enterprise Nexus, Ambience D'Arcy, McCann-Erickson, Euro RSCG and O&M. This round took place in end-May and the brief to the prospective agencies was to chalk out the future direction for Corsa. The current alignment was the outcome of that presentation.

Since nobody from the company was available for comment, little is known about the future direction that GMI's advertising will take. What is certain is that the company is pretty bullish about its prospects in India and plans to introduce some new brands from its global portfolio very soon. The names that are doing the rounds are Chevrolet, Vectra and SAAB.

The Indian unit of General Motors, the world's largest automaker, has reasons to be upbeat. The company claims its sales in the (calendar) year 2001 have grown 12 per cent, outpacing the overall market by a wide margin. GM sold 8,012 cars in 2001, up from the 7,153 cars sold in the previous year. In comparison, the overall car market fell 4 per cent during the year and the mid-size segment in which GM operates, dropped a steep 17 per cent. This segment is estimated at about 70,000 cars a year.

In all, GM sold 2,204 Astras in the upper-end of the mid-size car segment and 5,084 Corsas and 724 Swing models in the lower end of the same segment in 2001. It sold 3,084 Astras and 4,069 Corsas in 2000. India's domestic car sales fell 2.47 per cent in April-December 2001 to 394,589 units, according to data released by the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers shows.

To put things in perspective, the Opel Astra competes in its segment with the Honda City, Mitsubishi Lancer and the Suzuki Baleno while the Corsa is positioned against Ford's IKON, Hyundai's Accent, Fiat's Siena and Suzuki's Esteem. © 2002 agencyfaqs!