Marketing review

11 Oct 2007


Nippon Paint launching software to pre-view colours
Nippon Paint (India) had found a new way to market its paints. The company soon plans launch software that will let buyers envision how their buildings or individual rooms would look, before the paint goes up on the walls.

To be installed at dealer locations, the software would allow customers a virtual walkthrough over the building plan, while letting them mix and match Nippon''s colour range to get a sneak preview and a feel for how a coloured wall would look once painted.

According to company sources, the introduction of this software is a pioneering effort in India, and is expected to be a hit with customers, as it would let people can walk into stores with a CD of the floor plans and figure out exactly how the place would look once finished.

Nippon Paints is also in the process of investing Rs160 crore in a manufacturing each at Chennai and in Gujarat. Presently, the company gets its paint from plants in neighbouring countries. It has a large presence in South India, with about 100 stores, which it plans to double in about a year.

Company''s Nippon Paint''s western and northern rollout are on the backburner, till the company''s plants are get operational sometime in 2008.

BBDO India gets a 7UP
PepsiCo has announced that BBDO India will be its new creative agency for its 7UP product.

According to a press release, Punita Lal, executive director marketing, PepsiCo India, said that BBDO is a globally aligned agency for PepsiCo, which means that PepsiCo India will be able to draw upon its international networks for learning''s from across the world.

BBDO Worldwide, the Omnicom group agency has been in India as part of a joint venture with R K Swamy / BBDO, and has now launched a separate Indian agency christened BBDO India, which has won the 7UP account.

BBDO is PespsiCo''s agency globally, though for the last 18 years JWT was been in command of the company''s business in India. JWT India would remain as the company''s key agency for all other business, including Pepsi, Mirinda, Tropicana and Slice, which according to Lal, gives PepsiCo a strong stable of creative agencies to work with.

Six different agencies were widely known to have been invited for the pitch, which included Grey Worldwide, Rediffusion DY&R, Draft FCB (Ulka), RK Swamy / BBDO and Lowe India.

Andrew Robertson, president and CEO, BBDO Worldwide, said that "earning a place on PepsiCo''s agency roster in India has been a strategic goal for BBDO Worldwide for years."

BBDO will assume charge from 1 November.

Whirlpool plans Rs20-crore ad spend this Diwali
New Delhi:
Whirlpool India has announced the launch of its festive promotion campaign and a range of new products.

Whirlpool India has set aside a corpus of Rs70 crore for marketing and advertising for the current year, and will spend Rs20 crore of this during the current festive season.

The company will spend around Rs45 lakh on its ''magic chalao, dream home sajao'' offer during the festivities which would provide providing 30 home-makeovers that would be won by customers on the purchase of Whirlpool products.

Augmenting its product line, Whirlpool has launched products in two of its major categories, refrigerators and microwave ovens, and is looking to position itself as a ''complete home appliances company''. Targeting women, Whirlpool plans to put in around $20-25 million over the course of the next 18 months to expand production capacity and other marketing activities.

According to Shantanu Das Gupta, vice president for marketing, Whirlpool India, the company will extend the popularity of its refrigerators to all other categories such as microwaves, washing machines, and air conditioners. He said the company was anticipating around 20 per cent growth in sales during the Diwali season, as compared to the same season last year.

US Polo Association ties up with Arvind Mills
The US Polo Association has signed up a licensing agreement with domestic textile major Arvind Mills Ltd. As part of the agreement, Arvind would design and distribute US Polo branded sportswear and accessories, and would also set up the flagship brand stores in India.

David Cummings, CEO, US Polo Association Brand, said that international expansion is a key strategy for the US Polo Association Brand.

He said that Arvind Brands, which currently manages a number of prominent international brands, has the skill, business acumen, experience and infrastructure to successfully introduce and develop the US Polo Association Brand in retail by establishing the US Polo Association Brand retail stores throughout India.

Sanjay Lalbhai, chairman and managing director of Arvind Mills, said that Arvind Brands is excited and eager work with the US Polo Association, which is the official governing body for the sport of polo in the US since 1890.

Lalbhai said that Arvind is looking forward to offering a line of classic American styling, which captures the true spirit of the sport of polo.

He said that India has been associated with sport of polo for centuries, with the Calcutta Polo Club being the oldest active Polo Club in the world.

With a $1 billion in turnover, the US Polo Association retails men''s, women''s, and children''s sportswear, clothing and accessories such as socks, neckwear, hats and bags, and small leather goods.

The brand has 35 standalone retail stores, and a US Polo Association denim store with a network of 60 partners that spans master licensees, direct licensees and sub-licensees.

Now, Mumbai up in arms against corporate retailers
Over 15,000 retailers, wholesalers and hawkers congregated at the Azad Maidan in South Mumbai on10 October, in support of anti-retail protests organised by the Vyapaar Rozgaar Suraksha Kriti Samiti.

According to Mohan Gurnani, president, Federation of Associations of Maharashtra, five crore traders across the country risk losing their employment if the government does not heed the protester''s pleas.

Gurnani said that the protesters would allow the government time till 26 January to suitably respond to the protestors, failing which they would call for a nationwide strike.

Protests against organised, neighbourhood format retail stores have been springing up in different parts of the country recently, with Uttar Pradesh and Orissa seeing some of the more violent protests, as well as the exit of Reliance Retail, one of the larger players in the segment.

Various trader organisations have protested the entry of multinationals and big corporate houses into the retail trade, with some like Dharmendra Kumar, director, India FDI Watch, even demanding closure of all corporate bodies in retail, big or small.

According to Kumar, the main targets for the protests are Reliance, Wal-Mart and Bharti, though protests span others such as Spencers and Subhiksha as well.

He says that with Reliance opening over 15 smaller shops in one day, traders feel threatened since it can proliferate localities with corner shopsthat can wipe them out, unlike bigger retail formats like Future Group''s Big Bazaar.

The wholesale Agricultural Produce Market Committee (APMC) at Navi Mumbai also shut shop at least partially for the day, with wholesalers in attendance at the protest meet as well.

According to Ramnik Chheda, president of the Retail Grams Dealers Federation, retailers have for the first time downed shutters in protest, despite the festive season shopping at its peak, to join the protestors.

According to Chheda, retailers face a direct loss in sales totalling up to 30 per cent, on account of the development of malls.

Vivek Monteiro, secretary, CITU, called for a blanket ban on foreign direct investment (FDI) in retail, along with zoning restrictions which state stipulate retail outlets over a certain size to be treated as wholesalers. He would also like to see licensing policies introduced that regulate the entry through a joint committee of representatives of government and retailers and / or wholesalers.

The Kerala government has already restricted the entry of retail outlets, with the states of UP, Bihar and Jharkhand witnessing protests as well.

Hero-Ultra plans 100kmph speed e-scooters
New Delhi:
Hero Cycles, along with joint venture company Ultra Motors, has planned a slew of launches in the electric scooters segment to cater to the growing demand for such vehicles in India.

The joint venture company, Hero Ultra Pvt Ltd., will most likely come into effect from January 2008, and would launch around three e-scooters within the coming six months.

According to Joe Bowman, CEO, Ultra Motors, the offerings are likely to be high-powered scooters, capable of a maximum speed of 100 kmph, up from the current maximum of 70 kmph.

India is also going to be the first market for Ultra Motors'' hybrid three-wheeler that would be operated on battery, with a CNG or diesel variant. The launch is tentatively scheduled for about 15 months, given the time involved in the homologation process.

The company has introduced two electric scooters, Velociti and Optima, priced at Rs29,000 and Rs34,000 respectively. The company at present offers six electric scooters with prices starting at Rs14,400.

The company is looking at selling around 60,000 units this fiscal, according to Deba Ghoshal, Ultra Motors director for marketing in India. The company has 57 Hero Ultra dealers spanning the northern and western regions of the country, with plans to grow this network to 150 outlets by the end of this fiscal.

Kingfisher Airlines launches new services
Kingfisher Airlines has announced the launch of daily direct flights from Kochi to Thiruvananthapuram and Kozhikode, and from Kozhikode to Mangalore and Goa.

Counting these new services, Kingfisher Airlines now connects 32 cities with 200 flights a day.

According to V Raja, vice president for sales, South East Asia, Kingfisher Airlines, "All our efforts are focused on offering our guests enhanced convenience in terms of connectivity and service. The introduction of these services is a step towards that. This will be the first of its kind of flight that hugs all the five airports on the entire Malabar Coast up to Konkan, and provides quick connectivity between all stations."

Future Group planning an ad spend of Rs50 crore
Kishore Biyani owned Future Group has set the wheels rolling on its advertising for some of its brands. Hiring two creative agencies, Publicis Dialog, and SSC&B Lintas, the group has split four of its brands - John Miller, DJ&C, Dreamline and Buffalo between the two.

Publicis Dialog has Dreamline and Buffalo, while John Miller and DJ&C went to SSC&B Lintas.

The agencies will manage the creative duties for the group''s various brands, depending on whenever a need is felt for an agency.

Launched in May, Dreamline offers a range of home solutions, with products including Dream Kitchen, Dream Bed & Bath, Dream Décor and Dream Furniture.

John Miller is an executive attire brand that spans formal shirts, trousers, blazers, suits and accessories. It has been in the market for about a decade.

DJ&C is a five-year old denim and casual wear brand. Buffalo comprises a range of denim jeans, casual wear, and accessories.

For the four brands, The Future Group has earmarked an ad spend of Rs50 crore. The allocation to each individual brand is still unknown.

Kicking off the campaign on 7 October, the company launched the print and outdoor advertising for John Miller with Kolkata, just ahead of the festivities of Durga Puja. The nation wide launch through television is scheduled for about two weeks.

Dreamline has actress Hema Malini as brand ambassador, with the campaign running in dailies across the country, and in women''s magazines as well. The TV campaign is reportedly scheduled for two months down the line. Dreamline is marketed across the group''s retail formats Big Bazaar, HomeTown and, in some areas, Pantaloon stores.

Mahindra''s retail operations to focus on premium lifestyle stores
Amidst virtual nationwide protests against organised retail, the $4.5 billion Mahindra group, which yesterday announced its retail plans to focus on premium lifestyle stores selling apparels, toys and furnishings.

Named Mahindra Retail, the new venture would operate under group company Mahindra Intertrade, which has the roll out reportedly planned over a year.

According to company sources, the Mahindra group has licences to distribute children''s apparel, toys and furnishings of giants such as Walt Disney, Mattel, Lego and Woolworths'' Ladybird.

Raghunath Murti, executive vice chairman of Mahindra Intertrade terms it as the "natural extension of the group''s existing business."

The company also reportedly planning to introduce private labels in its stores.

According to advertisements in a section of the print media, Mahindra Retail is already on the look out for staffing its retail venture, seeking talent with 15 years of experience in different fields such as project development and management, business development, merchandising and so on.

To beef up its logistical and distribution capabilities, Mahindra Logistics would reportedly be made into a separate listed company.

Mahindra Logistics has earmarked Rs400 crore for setting up greenfield warehouses across the country, with plans for customised cold and dry warehouses and fruits and vegetable processing centres for corporates in major cities, including Mumbai, Pune, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Chennai, Kochi and Kolkata.

The Mahindra group''s interests in the agriculture sector cover the export of fresh produce under Mahindra Shubhlabh. Mahindra Agri Business is a group company reportedly in talks with European supply chain companies to establish supply chain joint ventures for international and domestic markets.

Mahindra''s Agri Business has interests in contract farming, contract services, exports and agri retailing.

Digital photography: HP launches an Indian Snapfish
Hewlett-Packard has announced its entry into the retail photo printing and sharing market in India, with the launch of HP Retail Photo Solutions.

The company has launched a version of its consumer online photo service, HP Snapfish, which has been customised for the Indian market.

Speaking at the launch, V Krishnan, general manager, consumer sales, imaging & printing group (IPG) of HP India Sales said that the launch of Snapfish in India brings HP closer to realising its vision for creating an all-digital photography marketplace.

He said the company will establish a footprint of 3000 retail photo outlets with HP Retail Photo Solutions by 2010. HP will enable photo delivery through Snapfish across the country, and hopes to redefine the dynamics of the photo printing market.

The Indian Snapfish will offer consumers free online photo sharing, unlimited online photo storage, and professionally developed digital camera prints for starting at Rs2.95 for the 4x6 size.

New customers will receive 20 free prints when sign up as a Snapfish member, with no obligations.

According to a press release by the company, HP Retail Photo Solutions will offer end-to-end digital photography printing services, with high quality HP photos that last 5 times longer than traditional photos.

The HP Retail Photo Solution will allow consumers to print on various substrates such as art paper, canvas and can also print instant photo albums.

Consumers can print photo based gifts, and see their favourite photos on key chains, mugs, T-shirts, mouse pads, photo greeting cards, posters, calendars and coasters at the HP Retail Photo Outlet, or can place an order on the HP Snapfish website.

HP will work with retail partners to roll out HP Retail Photo Solutions across locations such as supermarkets, photo specialty stores, electronics stores, office product stores and traditional photo service stores.

According to V Narayanan, director, retail photo solutions, IPG, HP APJ, the company hopes to provide a profitable business proposition for the retailers by driving down costs while offering their customers more choice, improved flexibility, better quality and price.

The brand identity of the HP Retail Solution will be a Multi-Colour Swirl with the punch line ''Celebrate Life with HP Photos''.

The HP Retail Photo Solutions comprises the HP Photosmart Studio and HP Photosmart pm1000 Microlab Printer.

The HP Photosmart Studio caters to high-volume printing of photos and creative projects such as posters, albums, calendars, and greeting cards in as little as an hour.

The HP Photosmart pm1000 Microlab is for high-speed 4 x 6-inch printing.

Talking about the launch of Snapfish in India, Bala Parthasarthy, vice president, online imaging, IPG, HP APJ said, "Snapfish has gained popularity globally and we expect to do the same in India. It will change the way consumers ''click-print-share'' photos in India. We have customized Snapfish to the needs of the Indian consumers with breakthrough pricing of Rs2.95 per print in the photo printing domain."

Snapfish is the leading online photo service worldwide, with over 40 million members in 15 countries, and adds a quarter of a billion new pictures per month.

Initially launched in the United States in April 2000 with the vision of helping people preserve, enjoy and share their most valuable memories. HP acquired Snapfish in April 2005.

According to Gartner, the market size of digital camera in India was $110 million in 2006, and was expected to grow at a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 20-22 per cent through 2011.

The number of mobile users in India will be more than double in the next five years, growing from 185 million to 462 million in 2011. Camera phones, with increasingly better photo quality, are hugely popular in India.

HCL launches environmentally friendly desktop computers
New Delhi:
Computer maker HCL Infosystems has introduced a new range of environment friendly desktops.

Branded ''HCL eSafe'', the desktops are compliant with the ''restriction of hazardous substances'' (RoHS) directive. They have negligible or zero quantities of hazardous materials like lead, cadmium and mercury, and are therefore more recycling friendly.

HCL has unified its various environment protection initiatives under a single ''HCL eSafe'' programme. According to George Paul, executive vice president, HCL Infosystems, all of the company''s desktops and notebooks computers will be RoHS compliant by the end of the year.

The eco-friendly desktops are priced starting Rs15,000, and progress up to Rs60,000, depending on their configuration and peripherals.

Earlier in the year, HCL had launched RoHs-complaint notebooks in the price range of Rs25,000 - Rs100,000.

Phasing out of lead and cadmium in the computer''s components involves the application of silver components, which has resulted in a marginal cost increase that the company has decided not to pass on to its customers.

Under HCL''s eSafe programme, customers can dispose of their used mobiles, electronic gadgets, computers in any of the company''s 200 collection centres across India, for appropriate disposal and recycling of e-waste, a growing concern worldwide. The company has partnered with Chennai-based government approved recycling plant, Trishiraya, where all collected products are recycled.

Dish TV aims at a quarter of the DTH pie by 2015
Dish TV, which has film star Shah Rukh Khan as its brand ambassador is looking to secure around 23-25 per cent of the DTH market by the year 2015.

The company reportedly estimates enough room in the DTH business for four to five DTH players, and estimates that by 2015, around 40 per cent of the pay TV customers will be DTH users, as opposed to the current 5 per cent.

Given that the conditional access system (CAS) has not seen the kind of adoption by customers as was expected, competition is heating up in the DTH space, which is when a brand ambassador like Shah Rukh Khan comes in handy.

The ad campaign will cover most media including TV, print, theatre, radio and outdoor, both in the urban as well as rural parts of the country, across 4,300 towns.

Dish TV''s ad campaign prompts viewers not to be ''satisfied'' with the quality of television that they are getting to watch now, and instead urges them to adopt Dish TV with its offering of 180 channels, including its English films in the ''movie-on-demand'' segment.

Dish TV also provides mobile satellite TV, which is currently priced at Rs1 lakh, for moving vehicles. According to sources, a few hundred such dishes have been sold by the company, which they say are also installed aboard Vijay Mallya''s yacht and some warships. Dish TV also provides live television on 10 Kingfisher flights.

Air Arabia now flies from Bangalore to Sharjah
Bangalore: The low-cost international airline, Air Arabia has announced the launch of its services to Bangalore from 15 October.

Flying four times per week, the flights would connect Bangalore and Sharjah, according to an airline release.

Air Arabia flying to Bangalore would take off from Sharjah at 2250 hrs local time, and arrive in Bangalore at 0420 hrs local time. The return flight would depart from Bangalore at 0505 hrs local time, arriving at Sharjah at 0750 hrs local time.

Frequency of flights is expected to increase shortly.

Bangalore is Air Arabia''s ninth destination in India, and 37th globally.

Till now Air Arabia connected Ahmedabad, Chennai, Jaipur, Kochi, Mumbai, Nagpur and Thiruvananthapuram to the Gulf. It started flying to Coimbatore on 1 October. launches photo print and share service
The digital photography era seems to have truly arrived in India. India-born American innovator and entrepreneur Sunny Balijepalli has combined forces with veteran of the photography industry Phiroze Havaldar, to launch, a website to store, share and print digital photos.

In a press release, Sunny Balijepalli, chief executive officer of ZoomIn says, "ZoomIn will be primarily aimed at internet and digital camera users in the country. The growth of the internet population in India indicates demand for innovative online services, thereby justifying our approach to the market. We are committed to leading the online photo sharing market through innovation, intuitive design, fair prices, spectacular service, and exceptional quality."

ZoomIn will provide top-quality prints that would be delivered to all major cities in India within the next business day. It also covers the kind of sophisticated photo-sharing features users would expect of a social-networking site right out of the United States. says it is the industry''s premiere service catering to the non-resident Indian population primarily in the US to send photos to friends and family in India.

In the Indian market, ZoomIn will adopt a phased approach for the acquisition of new users and generating revenue.

Indians living in the US will help market ZoomIn to its target segment in India, acting as early adopters who introduce the service to friends and family.

ZoomIn has established a comprehensive back-office and fulfilment set-up in India to print photos locally, including multiple, state-of-the-art printing facilities, and trained personnel.

ZoomIn says it provides professional-grade colour correction to photos when required, giving its customers the highest-quality prints available online. The company has partnered with local shipment providers to provide low-cost overnight shipping with tracking.

The company''s customer service and software development teams will be located in Mumbai to ensure a tight feedback loop between customer needs and site development.

Fiat India seeks new advertising agency
After mapping the crests and troughs over its 50-year presence in the Indian car market, Italian car maker Fiat is getting geared up for a comeback.

Some time ago, Fiat has announced the India launch of the Grande Punto and Linea Sedan in 2008. Past models include the Siena, the Uno, and the Petra. Presently in the market with two models, the Palio and the Palio Adventure, the company has a manufacturing and distribution association with Tata Motors.

Globally, Leo Burnett manages the Fiat brands in close to 32 markets. In India too, Fiat''s brand has been managed by Leo Burnett India, for the past six years.

However, in April 2007, Leo Burnett India won creative duties for competitor General Motors'' newly launched Chevy Spark, and handed down Fiat to its sister concern, Orchard Advertising, which is probably the reason for Fiat India to call for a pitch.

According to industry sources, the company has invited almost three agencies to make presentations to Fiat executives shortly. The company plans to become more aggressive in its advertising, and is expecting to break even by end 2009, having launched new models and made its presence felt in the Indian market, once again.

Reliance Fresh Bhubaneswar outlet inaugurated, downs shutters over traders'' ire, reopens under police protection
Bhubaneswar: Despite opposition from local traders and vendors, Reliance has opened a Reliance Fresh outlet in Bhubaneswar, launching its retail operations in the state.

Though it has formally inaugurated this store, Reliance Fresh has opted not to sell vegetables at the outlet. Two hours from launch, the outlet had to down shutters when vendors reached the spot.

The outlet opened to the public again later in the evening, after police intervention.

Carmakers shift into top gear to woo customers for festive shopping
With the festive season around the corner, its time to buy the car on that "auspicious" day for most Indians, a fact not lost on the car companies.

New promos, reworked models, and new features are only a few things in the arsenal for what could be the most competitive season for car companies looking to shore up their sales.

Honda SEIL, for example, is out with a refreshed City ZX that has some new interior features and added safety options to battle out the Suzuki SX4.

Now, Ford too has launched a new variant of its flagship Fiesta, named the Fiesta 1.6 Fida Edition. Along with a few exclusive features, two new colours, the most captivating deal of this new variant is likely to be the price at a bargain Rs6.60 lakh (ex-showroom, Chennai).

The car comes with new turn indicators integrated into the electric rear-view mirrors, which has traditionally been offered in more expensive cars. Nine-spoke alloy wheels, colour coordinated leather-vinyl seat covers, perforated vinyl door trims, a new MP3 player with four speakers, a roof antenna, front fog lamps, programmable keyless entry, intelligent rear de-fogger, remote boot release, trip computer, driver''s seat height adjustment mechanism and battery saver are only a few of the cars features.

The limited edition Fiesta Fida will have the same 1.6-litre Duratec petrol engine that delivers a peak power of 101 PS.

Hyundai too has launched its third nationwide Free Car Care Clinic. The Clinic will offer a comprehensive 80-point check-up and examination of the engine, transmission, electrical, under-body, AC, body panels, etc. Customers can avail of this free check-up at any of its 320 dealer workshops across the country, while getting a free car wash and discounts on all spare parts.

Hyundai is also offering a discount of 20 per cent on labour and a 20 per cent discount on extended warranty. It has special discounts on service merchandising, such as engine flush, anti-rust coating, engine de-carbonisation, and car polish.

Hyundai''s Free Car Care Clinic was first introduced in 2006 and was subsequently conducted in January and February 2007. During this festive season, the Clinic will be a two-week long campaign, from October 3 to 17. It will also recognise customers who take special care of their cars, through `Best Maintained Car'' award for cars more than five years old, and driven 100,000km.

Ashok Leyland Sept sales down
Ashok Leyland''s has reported sales for September down close to 13 per cent compared with that of the same month last year.

According to industry sources, the slowdown in commercial vehicles sales is mainly due to rising interest rates that dampen new truck purchases.

Continuing the trend over the last three months, September saw a rise in the sale of buses. The goods segment, which is sometimes seen as an indicator of the economy''s performance, continued its signs of depression.

Apollo Hospitals finally comes to Mumbai
Adding new geographical regions to its healthcare business, the Apollo Hospitals Group, India''s largest chain of hospitals, has finally firmed up its plans for establishing a presence in Mumbai.

Through a joint venture, One Equity Partners, the private equity arm of the J P Morgan, will reportedly be the financial partners for Apollo''s foray into the city. One Equity Partners has invested in Apollo Health Street, Apollo''s healthcare and IT BPO. This venture is viewed as an extension to that association.

The Apollo Group plans to build 4-5 medical facilities in the city, which would offer around 2,000 beds within around two years. The group has reportedly acquired land in Navi Mumbai and Thane for its projects.

According to Kamath, most Mumbai hospitals are run by trusts, and hence Apollo is looking at associations as opposed to acquisitions.

The new entity, named Western Hospitals Corporation Pvt Ltd, will look after the Mumbai projects. According to VP Kamath, CEO, Apollo Hospitals, the group is using the JV route to enter Mumbai, which was the only metro city in which Apollo did not have a presence.

The Apollo''s facility at Navi Mumbai is planned as a state-of-the-art, 350-bed hospital for the first phase, which would ramp up to 550 beds thereafter. The Thane project would have around 300 beds. Apollo is looking at associations and tie-ups with existing hospitals to get its 2000-bed target in sight.

Tata Motors to enter the UK market with new generation products
New Delhi:
Re-entering the UK market is on the cards for Tata Motors. For some time MG Rover, Tata''s partner in the UK, sold the Indica under an assembly pact that had the car re-badged as the "City Rover". The association came to an end with MG Rover''s bankruptcy in 2005, even though Tata Motors continued to export pick-up trucks and its Safaris to the UK. Changing gears, its now has plans for a greater role the UK market.

According to Rajeev Dube, executive director, passenger cars, Tata Motors, the company has decided to sell some of its products in the UK market. Tata is also one of the leading bidders for local UK auto brands Land Rover, and Jaguar, which were put up for sale by current owner and US auto major, Ford.

Tata Motors is looking to gaining its footing in the UK market prior to launching an entire range of new-generation products. As per plans already made public, Tata''s association with joint venture partner Fiat will see it producing some of its new-generation products, such as engines and transmissions, along with some Fiat products such as the Grande Punto and Linea at the company''s Ranjangaon plant.

While the time line for the UK market remains confidential, according to Dube the new-generation products would span the existing portfolio, of which some could be based on new platforms and be fitted with new engines. Keenly awaited amongst the new-gen products is the new Indica, which is likely to be pitched in above the current version of the car, in the higher end segment of compact cars. Most likely, it will co-exist with the current Indica, with some trims and design changes.

Tata Motors launched the new Safari Dicor 2.2 VTT range, powered by a new 2.2 litre direct injection engine, earlier last week.

Malaysia airlines to increase its flights to Chennai and Bangalore
Kuala Lumpur:
Estimating more Indians as tourists to Malaysia, Malaysia Airlines has decided to increase its flight frequency to Chennai and Bangalore.

The Malaysian national carrier will use Airbus 330-300 and Airbus 330-200 aircraft, increasing seating capacity from the present 2,920 to 3,607, and the new winter schedule will see Malaysia Airlines add another two weekly flights to Chennai, taking the total flights in a week to nine, and will fly to Bangalore four times a week.

The additional services to Chennai will start from 28 October, on Thursdays and Sundays. The extra flights to Bangalore will start from 3 November, on Saturdays.

According to Malaysia Airlines regional manager for South Asia, Christopher Yek, Bangalore and Chennai are prominent growing gateways for the airline. Adding the new schedule, Malaysia Airlines would be operating 30 weekly flights to its five gateways in India.

Malaysia Airlines already flies to New Delhi, Mumbai and Hyderabad.

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