Marketing review news
19 January 2006

HLL to give tea a zing
FMCG major Hindustan Lever (HLL) is preparing to add a pep to its tea business by setting up a chain of tea parlours branded 'Lipton T Place' across the country. The tea parlours would be on the lines of Café Coffee Day and Barista.

The company says the parlours will offer a range of hot and cold teas in a setting that will make tea the next big thing after coffee.

The company opened its first T Place at a 1,600sq. ft. pilot outlet, at Bangalore's Koramangala location. The outlet offers a range of teas including fusion and `turbo' teas (teas infused with a range of herbs including jasmine, cinnamon and citrus), iced teas and signature house blends.

Top sources said the company has firmed up plans to launch over 100 such outlets across the country over the next two years. Though the Koramangala T Place is run by a franchisee, the company is looking at multiple formats to roll out its tea retail venture.

The Koramangala outlet is being used to test the concept and train personnel in the art of brewing and serving tea in which the company has no experience. The Koramangala outlet also offers customers a range of bakery products and its signature light meals.

Marico to focus on Saffola salt
Marico Industries is increasing focus on its salt business under the Saffola brand name. The company plans to significantly increase its promotional expenditure to establish its position in the domestic salt market.

The company would be spending around 5 to 10 per cent of its advertising and sales promotion expenditure on marketing Saffola salt. Marico has adopted several approaches to reach out to the consumer over the past two years to promote Saffola salt. Starting with TV commercials to organising heart health camps, the company has not left any stone unturned.

GM India to launch three new models
General Motors India has introduced three new cars, which will be rolled out in the Indian market over the next few months. These include the premium hatchback Aveo U-VA (which would be positioned against the Hyundai Getz and Suzuki Swift), the mid-size sedan Aveo and sportsback Optra SRV.

The new cars (all of which would be sold under the Chevrolet badge) will be launched in the market between February and June 2006 and the pricing of the vehicles would be revealed subsequently.

Auto analysts expect the Aveo U-VA to be priced in the range of Rs 3.8-4.2 lakh while the Aveo would be priced at Rs 6.5-7 lakh.

Sources said that the Aveo U-VA would have an engine displacement of 1.4 litre, while the Aveo would carry a 1.6 litre engine. Further, while the Aveo would have a localisation content of 60 per cent, it would be around 45 per cent for the Optra.

The Aveo sedan is expected to replace the Opel Corsa in India. General Motors is currently selling around 400-500 units of the Corsa (inclusive of the Corsa Sail) every month.

Following the phasing out of the Corsa, all vehicles sold by General Motors would be under the Chevrolet badge.

Parle Agro launches first confectionery brand 'Simply Imlee'
Parle Agro has entered the confectionery market with its first brand — Simply Imlee after the company floated a separate confectionery division within the company. The brand will also be rolled out to the rest of Maharashtra, Gujarat, and subsequently at a national level.

The company said the product is made real tamarind, which is in a chewy format. Pegged at 50 paise, the company has decided to stay away from boiled candies to make its foray into the confectionery segment with its unique `chewy' format. The company says that currently, there are no chewy-based confectionery products in the market and this is what will distinguish Parle's confectionery in the market.

Also by entering the confectionery category, the company would be able to enhance the distribution network for its beverage brands as well. Estimating the confectionery outlet base at 38 lakh across the country, Parle Agro would be in a position to beef up its existing beverage distribution.

MICO-Bosch brings all new MICO products under Bosch brand
MICO-Bosch has decided to bring all new applications developed at its Indian operations under the Bosch brand.
The company says that worldwide, Bosch is a bigger name than MICO and eventually, the company plans to reduce applications under the MICO brand name.

The company has no plans to delist Motor Industries from any of the Indian stock exchanges or replace it with the Bosch name.

The decision however, assumes significance, as the Indian operations are turning out to be a major hub for Bosch's operations worldwide.

Tanishq launches diamonds sale
Tanishq is rolling out one of its biggest discount sales on diamond jewellery across the country from January 20 to February 28.
In the face of rising gold prices the company hopes to give an incentive to consumers to buy diamond jewellery as diamond prices haven't risen in a while.

This sale offers 5-25-per cent discount on all the diamond jewellery sold in the store. In previous sales, only a certain portion of the range, especially slow-moving stock, was sold at a discount.

The timing of the sale also coincides with the season of "metro weddings" when diamonds are sold in larger numbers as against the first and second quarters which see "rural weddings" and occasions such as Akshaya Tithi when the preference is for gold.

Tanishq is also launching a special advertising campaign on TV for this purpose. Diamond jewellery contributes 30-35 per cent of Tanishq's turnover. However, solitaires (diamonds valued at over 47 cents), are sold loose and set in the store to consumer preference, and are still a growing category in the branded diamond jewellery business.

Birla Sun Life offers `Simple Life'
Birla Sun Life Insurance has launched `Simple Life', an equity-linked insurance scheme. The product, which is designed for the mass market, aims to simplify procedures. The minimum annual payment towards premium is Rs10,000 and the maximum is Rs1 lakh. The age for entering the scheme varies from 30 days to 50 years.

Fiat launches Grande Punto, Alfa Romeo concept car
Fiat has launched the Grande Punto and the Alfa Romeo 8c Competizione at the Auto Expo.

The Grande Punto launched in September 2005 worldwide, was a success in the European markets selling 1-lakh cars since its launch. The model on display is the 1.3-diesel multijet engine with power of 90 BHP.

The Alfa Romeo 8c Competizione concept car has been designed and produced by the Alfa Romeo style centre. The code 8c is used to identify cars equipped with the eight-cylinder engine produced by Mr Vittorio Jano.

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