Marketing review

24 May 2007


Ashok Leyland creates Altrux brand to sell used vehicles
Hinduja Group flagship Ashok Leyland has created a new brand Altrux under which it will sell used vehicles. The company is initially targeting to sell 500 vehicles under the new brand. Ashik Leyland is the first commercial vehicle manufacturer to foray into the sale of used vehicle space, and hopes to corner 15 per cent market share over the next three years in the business. The market for used trucks is estimated at 77,000 per annum. The company will purchase used Ashok Leyland vehicles from the market and re-condition them. All such vehicles would come with a six-month warranty.

The refurbishment of the truck - cab, body and chassis would be carried out to set Altrux quality standards by qualified personnel.

Altrux will be marketed through TVS, Ashok Leyland''s dealer, which has a network of 15 outlets.

Titan drops Titan Shades: to sell sunglasses under Fastrack brand
Titan Industries has dropped the `Titan Shades'' brand and is consolidating its sunglasses business under the Fastrack brand. Last year, Titan Industries had test-marketed the premium segment Titan Shades brand to penetrate the high end (Rs 2500--Rs 5400 range) sunglasses market as against the mid priced Fastrack (Rs 695- Rs 2,500).

The Titan Shades range has around 43 styles and was initially test marketed in Bangalore and Chennai and a national rollout was planned for later.

Now the company has decided to drop the `Shades'' name and has integrated it under the Fastrack brand, after a market survey revealed that consumers perceived sunglasses as a "youthful brand." According to the company sunglasses are seen as a youthful accessory by consumers and since Fastrack caters to the youth, it was decided that the Shades brand would be brought under the Fastrack brands.

The company says Titan Shades had "fairly good response", especially from the youth. Fastrack also sells glares in the high-end price range (above Rs2,500), although the "centre of gravity" for this youth fashion brand is its Rs695 price point.

Model turned actor John Abraham is the brand ambassador of Fastrack eye gear.

Piaggio to set up exclusive four-wheeler retail chain
Piaggio Vehicles is getting ready to launch a sub-one-tonne four-wheeler through an exclusive dealer network in the country. The company feels that a separate chain of dealerships will promote the four-wheeler alongside its existing chain of three-wheeler outlets (230 dealers and 230 sales outpoints). It is also felt that the exclusive chain would specially focus on Piaggio''s different range of products. Though the owner of a new retail outlet could be an existing Piaggio three-wheeler dealer, the new chain of dealerships would have a separate team, working capital, infrastructure, etc.
The company has asked its existing chain of dealerships to set up a retail establishment with retail display space of 2,000 sq ft and 5,000 sq ft for the service bay.

The company intends to have more than 100 dealerships when it has established a countrywide presence for the planned vehicle.

Eros brings Bollywood to YouTube
Eros International has launched a Bollywood channel on YouTube, the video sharing Web site.

Bollywod movie trailers, videos and actors'' interviews and other footage will now be available on YouTube from the company''s library of 1,300 films. The new channel will be featured in YouTube''s `Partner Channels'' section.

"The partnership with YouTube allows us to not only promote our content but also monetise it through advertising revenues said Kishore Lulla, chairman and CEO, in a statement. Eros has been distributing Indian cinema to audiences in the UK, the US, South Africa and West Asia and is pursuing its digital distribution business. It recently concluded a deal with OnCommand Video Corporation, a provider of in-room entertainment technology to hotels and cruise ship industries.

The agreement is to make its films available on a video-on-demand platform to guests of hotel chains across the US.

The company''s music titles are available on iTunes and Real Rhapsody.

Eros is already selling VCDs and DVDs to high street retailers like HMV, Virgin and Tesco in the UK.

HLL drops Sunsilk leave-on lotion
HLL has withdrawn its post-wash leave-on lotion, 9 to 9, positioned in the mass segment of hair care. Instead, it has decided to re-enter the segment with a series of variants under the Sunsilk brand. HLL was a late entrant in the past wash segment a year ago and followed it up by introducing a plethora of Sunsilk shampoos for different types of coloured hair, including a post-wash leave-on lotion in its premium Sunsilk franchise under the Colour Shine System.

The company said it has withdrawn the 9 to 9 leave-on lotion as it has gone on to the post-colour hair wash segment with the same offering.

Currently, the Sunsilk brand has six variants under names such as Velvety Soft, Thick & Strong, Black Shine and Antidandruff.

A company official said the Sunsilk leave-on lotion will get re-launched later. HLL is now actively re-looking at the post-wash segment in the Rs 2,000-crore hair care category which is small but is growing fast.

HLL has already created variants under the mass Sunsilk shampoo brand in the post-wash conditioner segment under conditioner variants like Thick & Strong, Velvety Soft and Damage Repair. Earlier, HLL has launched the Zero Damage System from Dove comprising a host of therapy solutions for damaged hair and these include products such as conditioners and leave-on lotions as well.

Andhra Bank unveils mobile biometric ATMs
Andhra Bank has launched two mobile biometric ATMs here and will soon expand them to other places. Bank officials said it is the first bank in the country to launch mobile biomertic ATMs which would soon be expanded to other cities such as Visakhapatnam, Tirupati, Kakinada, Kottayam (Kerala), Madavakkam (Chennai), Tiruttani (Tamil Nadu) and Karaikudi (Tamil Nadu) during the current fiscal year. The bank would add 200 biometric ATMs this fiscal, taking its ATMs strength to 750.

The mobile ATMs would move within Hyderabad and Secunderabad on a particular route map with pre-announced timings from 6 am to 6 pm and would cover un-banked and under-banked areas. They would identify customers based on their finger prints. However, the use of personal identification number is also accepted by the machines. For biometric access, customers have to register their fingerprints with the branch in which they maintain accounts.

Vodafone launches budget handsets
Vodafone has launched its first branded entry-level handsets in the Indian market. Priced between $25 and $45 the Vodafone 125 and Vodafone 225 are part of Vodafone''s ongoing commitment to expand access to mobile in emerging markets, where mobile technology and networks are often the only viable and cost effective telecom service the company said.

The handsets are therefore key to offering a range of services, particularly in rural areas where mobile penetration is often at its lowest," said a press release from the company.

Vodafone said that in markets such as India or Tanzania, the cost of purchasing a mobile handset could be one of the key barriers to accessing mobile services.

The Vodafone 125 and Vodafone 225 handsets are intended to help drive mobile penetration and will provide access to services for people in emerging markets that are already commonplace in Western Europe.

The handsets are manufactured by Chinese handset manufacturer ZTE Corporation and are almost identical in functionality the only difference being that the Vodafone 225 has a colour screen. Features, design and functionality were specified by Vodafone.

Toyota launches ''Limited Edition Corolla''
Toyota has launched 2007 special limited edition Corolla, a limited edition variant of the premium sedan incorporated with some cosmetic changes and exclusive new design features to the interiors and exteriors of the car. The distinguishing feature of the launch is the company''s plan to focus on using new-age marketing devices to sell the limited 300 numbers of the new variant.

According to Toyota Kirloskar Motor, the new special limited edition will be targeted at the younger segment of customers, who are climbing the social ladder in life.

Some of the new features in this limited edition variant include front and rear bumper spoilers that enhance the aggressive appearance of the car and give it sportier looks; side skirts, which also add to the Corolla''s aesthetic appeal; and the two dynamic colours — New Warm Silver and Champagne Mica Metallic.

The other new features that have been changed or added include a front grille, six-spoke alloy wheels and a Limited Edition logo. For further exclusivity, two-tone fabric seats and a wood finish rare cup holder have been added. Standard features such as the 1.8-litre VVT-i engine, SRS air bags for driver and passenger, ABS, front fog lamps, keyless entry with alarm, six-CD player with MP3, six speakers, height adjustment of the driver''s seat, 60-40 split foldable rear seat, power steering and lumbar support in addition to automatic air conditioner add to the appeal of the car.

Fortis pharmacy takes franchisee route for expansion
Fortis Healthworld, the pharmacy chain of Fortis Healthcare, has appointed franchisees to expand operations. In the first phase, the company plans to have 150 franchisee outlets in North India alone by year end. The franchisee outlets will be in addition to the company''s plans to roll out 1,000 Healthworld outlets by 2012 with an investment of Rs 800 crore.

Fortis Healthworld, which recently opened its 10th store in Delhi, plans to have 250 Healthworld outlets by the end of the year. The franchisee outlets can leverage on Fortis Healthworld brand name and take advantage of setting up appointments for OPD from far flung areas and healthcare expertise from Fortis. In return, Fortis Healthworld will charge a small brand fee from the franchisee outlets for using its name.

The franchisee outlets will have a similar look and feel as Healthworld outlets anywhere in the country. They will have a space area of about 500 sq ft and would require an investment of Rs 50 lakh for each outlet. They will also provide all value added services like diagnostic facilities, free home delivery services, healthcare products, prescription reminders among others."

Adidas to set up 100 stores every year
German firm Adidas is undertaking a major retail expansion that will entail adding over 100 stores every year.

The company feels it is well positioned for growth in the Indian market driven by the performance of the sports brand and has set a target of being the number one brand in India by 2010.

Currently Adidas ranks second after Reebok in the Indian sports goods segment, followed by Nike.

Adidas'' focus would be on opening more stand alone outlets, which have been driving the growth for last 3-4 years. The company would add over 100 outlets every year.

Adidas has only 70 stand alone stores in India in 2005, which grew to 165 last year, although it''s overall retail points, including multi-brand outlets in India are close to 2000.

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