Marketing review news
06 October 2005

Ford India to launch the Fiesta
Ford India plans to launch the Ford Fiesta in November this year. Ford's product development team in the UK, Germany and Australia had a team of Indian engineers working in collaboration to develop the sedan to suit the Indian consumer.

The sedan will make its world debut in India. The Fiesta would be positioned as a premium car in the mid-size segment, unlike the Ikon which is targeted at the lower end of the mid-size segment.

The Fiesta would be available in both the petrol and diesel versions with Dura technologies. An all-aluminium engine would form the heart of the petrol variant.

Hero Honda launches new bike, scooter
Hero Honda has launched its first scooter `Pleasure', in India to grab a share of the fast growing gearless scooter market, and a 150-cc bike called `Achiever.

The new 102cc-gearless scooter would be launched in mid-November and its price would also be announced around that time. Hero Honda is targeting to sell about one lakh scooters from December 2005 to December 2006. Production of the four-stroke scooter would be according to the market demand. The scooter is especially designed as per the requirements of women.

The Achiever is positioned against the Bajaj Pulsar and has been priced in the Rs47,900 - Rs52,700 range (ex-showroom Delhi). For the upcoming festive season, the company is providing a discount of Rs1,001 on its vehicles in this period.

The company aims to sell 10,000 units of Achiever per month.

Pepsi ads have highest recall among online surfers: survey
A survey by online research firm Juxtconsult, has revealed that netizens recall Pepsi, Tata and Sony ads the most. For those looking at making investment decisions, mutual funds (MFs) are the top choice (32 per cent) while shares (25 per cent) come second.

The survey sampled more than 30,000 net users and a telephonic survey of 3,000 users was carried out across 10 cities. Over 700 brands were included in the survey. The study said Pepsi advertisements have the strongest recall value (5.5 per cent followed by Coke (4.8 per cent) and Cadbury's (4.1 per cent).

Tata to launch credit card with SBI-GE
Mumbai: The Tata Group is again planning to enter the credit card business. The group is planning to launch its credit card, tentatively called Tatacard, in partnership with State Bank of India (SBI) and GE Caps.

The credit card with the Tata brand on it is set to be launched around January 1, 2006.

Tatas would be paid a fee for lending the Tata brand name to the card, to be marketed both by SBI-GE and by the Tata Group, sources reveal. At a later stage, the group may even consider buying the entire card base.

The Tata Group had earlier launched a credit through its erstwhile finance company, Tata Finance, in association with American Express bank. The card didn't take off and Tata Finance's problems later brought the venture to a premature end.

Lenovo to launch new desktop
Lenovo India has launched its new desktop ThinkCentre A51. This desktop incorporates dual-core processing and 64-bit computing capabilities to support most demanding business applications.

ThinkCentre A51 is priced between Rs24,590 and Rs36,000 and is powered by the Intel Pentium 4 processor with 1-2 MB L2 cache. Integrated into the system is Intel 915 GV chipset and 256 MB DDR SDRAM memory.

ThinkCentre is also equipped with a 48X CDROM drive and Ethernet. The device comes with a 15" CRT monitor which can be upgraded to a 15" TFT monitor.

BSNL launches new schemes, offers
Bharat Sanchar Nigam has launched a slew of offers for its mobile and broadband users in view of the upcoming festive season.

The offers include a package for students called Student Power Plan 99. Under the scheme, student can get a CellOne connection for a monthly rental of Rs99 per month. The package will be offered till October 30. Students can also avail themselves of as special SMS package for 10paise per message within BSNL's network for a monthly fee of Rs40. The company had launched a similar package last year, which had drawn a large number of students.

BSNL has also launched a special scheme for central, state government and central public sector employees, whereby a CellOne mobile connection will be made available for a monthly rental of Rs100. The initial security deposits and registration fees have been waived off.

At present, BSNL's cheapest mobile plan is one with a monthly rental of Rs150. The new scheme is valid from October 1 to November 30.

For its broadband users, BSNL has bundled free downloads of 1GB under Home Plan 250 for customers purchasing a broadband connection with HCL PC against an existing download of 400 MB. These customers will also be eligible for a lottery under which one PC per week will be given free. The scheme will be valid from October 1 to January 31.

BSNL has also introduced video ringtones for its GPRS mobile customers. A customer can select a video ring tone or multiple ring tones, available in various modes like Bollywood songs, religious video clippings, animated video tones and international video songs. Charges for each video ring tone download will be Rs20.

Airtel offers Blackberry on Nokia
Nokia has tied up with Airtel to roll out Blackberry `push mail' service on its high-end `Communicator' handsets in the country.

With this even those Airtel customers who do not possess the Blackberry's handheld models will still be able to use Research In Motion's Blackberry software to access up to 10 e-mail accounts directly on their handsets, the Communicator 9500 and 9300.

The service is being initially launched in four Delhi, Bangalore, Mumbai and Hyderabad. It will soon be extended to other Class A cities such as Kolkatta, Pune, Ahmedabad, Lucknow and Chandigarh - all the cities where Airtel offers GPRS services. An announcement to this effect is likely to be made soon by the two companies.

Corporation Bank launches retail sale of gold coins
Corporation Bank has recently launched what is called the `Centenary Gold Coin in India. It is the first among the public sector banks to retail gold coins in the country.

The gold coins, imported from Switzerland, will be sold to retailers or individuals through 90 select branches. The 8gm gold coin is of 999.9 purity with certification as per international standards. The price will be determined on a dynamic basis, reflecting the market price on a daily basis.

In the last financial year, the bank made Rs3,212 crore from its gold business.

Chateau Indage launches quality wine at low-cost
The Indage group has launched wine branded as Vino priced at Rs90 for a 750ml bottle.

The new wine is being marketed in a PET bottle with a screw cap. The wine, targeted at both men and women, will be available in Mumbai and New Delhi to begin with, and would be available in other cities soon.

The company has also launched Sinn, a wine cooler, in Goa and now Mumbai, which comes in flavours such as strawberry, black currant, lime lemon, and peach.

The company is also planning to launch a new wine at the top-end category that would be sold in limited numbers "so as to retain the exclusivity of the new wine."

Chateau Indage currently produces over 15 domestic and international export brands with presence in 34 countries including France, the UK, and the US.

Reliance Info offers bonus talk time in festive season
The Anil Ambani-controlled Reliance Infocomm has announced a festive bonus talk time offer for its prepaid and postpaid customers.

Prepaid customers refilling their accounts with Rs330 and above during Dussera and Diwali will get the benefit of total talk time as the administrative charge, currently at Rs150, has been waived off from these vouchers.

The Dussera offer is valid between October 3 and October 12, and Diwali offer between October 27 and November 5. The offers are applicable in all circles except Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh, for which separate schemes are on the anvil.

The offers will help the company connect with its subscribers better and infuse fresh vigour in the market during the festive season.

In addition, the company is offering free talk time worth Rs 5,00 to Rs 1,000 on purchase of select models of handsets for new connections.

The offer is valid between October 3 and November 5. This free talk time will be spread across five months.

Compiled by Mohini Bhatnagar

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