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Business – General Motors: Ready to Cruze?

Srivats Uniyal

Barely three months after emerging out of bankruptcy, General Motors has launched its luxury Sedan, the Chevrolet Cruze, in India. Built on a global platform called the 300 series, the Cruze will compete with the Honda Civic, Skoda Laura and Volkswagen Jetta for a space in the executive segment

The car comes in two manual diesel variants priced between Rs 10.99 lakh and Rs 12.45 lakh, ex-showroom, New Delhi. The petrol and automatic variants are planned by early next year.

So, what makes GM so confident of beating away the competition from the established players?

“Our offer price is cheaper than competition. The fuel efficiency of the Cruze is 18.3 km per litre. Besides, we have introduced features like push-button start and smart-screen system for the first time in the D segment. If consumers get better style and features at a low cost, why would they not go for it,” says General Motors Vice-president (sales and marketing) Ankush Arora.

It is not just the aggressive pricing that General Motors is betting on. It is spending big bucks on a digital media campaign as well. “We have allocated more than Rs 1 crore for digital marketing for a span of just four to five weeks,” says Arora.

This is for the first time that General Motors has allocated such a huge budget for a digital media campaign. Usually, a car brand spends about Rs 50 lakh, except of course for Maruti Suzuki which always invests more than Rs 1 crore on such campaigns.

“It was on October 5, a week before the launch of the Cruze, that we began the online teaser campaign which consisted mainly of banner ads and pre-poll video-teaser ads on websites like Yahoo, Rediff and Indiatimes. The response has been extremely good so far. As of October 14, we have received 1,200 confirmed bookings for the Cruze and are deluged with test-drive requests,” says Arora.

The company is also working on an executive ad roadblock campaign in which Cruze ads will be displayed on more than 16 major portals. “We have booked the homepages of various prominent websites like Moneycontrol and Reuters,” says Arora.

The company is expecting to reach 70 per cent of all internet users through the roadblock campaign.

“After the roadblock campaign, we will focus on more tactical and targeted banner advertising and content sponsorship across popular websites,” says Arora.

This will include the search marketing strategy on the internet with 2,500 keywords. “A sponsored link of the Cruze will be pushed to internet users when they search for premium products or automobile-related products,” says Arora.

Besides, General Motors is planning to increase the number of its authorised service centres to 250 from present 198, across the country. “This will make us more reachable to the consumer,” says Arora.

The Cruze may get some momentum as it has been launched in the festive season. But will it maintain its momentum once this festive season gets over

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October 20, 2009 - Posted by | Uncategorized |

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