Saturday, May 28, 2016

P.A. Dhananjayan takes over as CPRO for Southern Railway

Mr. P.A. Dhananjayan of Indian Railway Traffic Service (IRTS) has taken over as the Chief Public Relations Officer of Southern Railway. He succeeds Mr. D. Lakshmanan, IRTS, who has been posted as Officer on Special Duty to the Chief Commercial Manager.

Mr. Dhananjayan, a post-graduate in Mass Communication and Journalism, was Senior Divisional Commercial Manager, Palakkad Division, before joining as CPRO. He holds post-graduate qualifications in Public Relations, Advertising & Tourism Management and has held posts in the Southern Railway in different capacities.

Piaggio India opens third premium retail concept store in India

With two successful Motoplex launches firmly under its belt, the Piaggio Group is aggressively moving forward with its Motoplex expansion strategy across India. Starting with the first launch in Pune in November 2015, followed by the second one in Hyderabad earlier this month, Piaggio Group today added India’s third Motoplex in the city of Chennai. Also known as the ‘Detroit of South Asia’, Chennai becomes the second city in South India to get a Motoplex store. 

Inaugurated by Mr. Stefano Pelle, Managing Director and CEO, Piaggio India, the store is set in a sprawling area of 4,061 sq.ft. at 4th Avenue, Ashok Nagar, Chennai.

In line with the innovative in-store experience, the Piaggio Group is developing this concept in major metropolitan areas around the world. The Chennai Motoplex is a place for patrons to discover the essence of the Piaggio Group and its lineage with brands like Vespa, Aprilia and Moto Guzzi on display. It is a platform for bike enthusiasts to explore all of their favourite Piaggio brands and share their biking experience in one place.

Motoplex multi brand stores have already been set up in Milan, New York City, Shanghai and Singapore where all the Piaggio group brands coexist in one continuous experience.

Stefano Pelle said: “It is a proud moment for the Piaggio Group to bring our flagship store to Chennai - our third in India and second in the south of the country. Motoplex as a concept, offers the experience of Italian biking under one roof along with an exciting overview of the two-wheeler world, reflecting the innovative vision of the Piaggio Group. The store not only showcases the long standing history of our brands – Vespa, Aprilia and Moto Guzzi but also highlights their fascinating journey that proudly stands for ‘Made in Italy’.” 

He added: “With the display of various brands from the Piaggio Group, the Motoplex store aims to achieve the same success it has had internationally. Chennai as a two-wheeler market has always been of strategic importance to us and it was a logical move to bring this concept store to this city.”

Mr. Satish Mehta, Executive Director, Chennai Motoplex, said: “Today, is a moment of fulfilment as we become a part of Piaggio’s new retail experience, the Motoplex. It is indeed our pleasure to be representing Piaggio’s premium brands in Chennai.”

Mahindra MOJO launches ‘Born for the Road’ marketing campaign

Mahindra MOJO, the flagship 300cc touring motorcycle from Mahindra Two Wheelers Ltd. (MTWL), debuted on social media with a brand new advertising campaign called “Born for the Road” (#BornForTheRoad) which promotes the touring ethos of the MOJO while capturing the essence of the perfect road trip.

Through this new creative campaign that promotes the thrill of riding along with your ‘Tribe’, Mahindra Two Wheelers (MTWL) aims to showcase the perfect road trip where the road is home and fellow bikers are brothers – where the Journey is more important than the Destination. To reinforce the touring connect, a re-imagined version of the iconic blues track, "Got My Mojo Workin’” has been released as the official Mojo Tribe Anthem and is also the soundtrack of the advertisement. The campaign’s anthem is an embodiment of the touring mentality – with the refrain “I was born for the road” capturing the core thought behind the new campaign.

The MOJO comes equipped with a state-of-art engine with DOHC (Double Over Head Camshaft), Advanced EFI (Electronic Fuel Ignition), Iridium spark plug, resonator fitted intake system and twin exhausts that have been especially designed to produce a unique exhaust note. The motorbike has inverted front forks with a rigid triple clamp mounting and the largest 320mm radially mounted front disc brakes and Pirelli Diablo Rosso II tyres.

These features are enhanced by a 21 litre fuel tank, the largest in its class, to ensure it can cover longer distances effortlessly. The handle bar and foot rest placement offer an upright riding stance that enhances comfort over long distances. The MOJO is currently available in 34 outlets across 19 cities and comes in colours including Volcanic Red, Charcoal Black, Glacier White, and the brand – new Crimson Matte.

Commenting on the campaign, Naveen Malhotra, Sr. General Manager – Marketing and Product Planning, Mahindra Two Wheelers, said: "Our highly impactful brand campaign for the Mahindra Mojo has been created to generate high consumer awareness and promote the brand ethos. This Born For The Road campaign brings alive the trademark features of the MOJO that are loved by our customers. The unique concept of promoting brotherhood in an engaging manner is sure to grab the attention of viewers. In our endeavor to reach a wider and younger audience we have supported this new campaign on various social media platforms through innovative initiatives like #BornForTheRoad and Spin The Knife.”

The MOJO campaign is a 360 degree activation, which begins with the #BornForTheRoad initiative on digital and introduces this philosophy to the MOJO followers via social media platforms. This will be followed by the launch of the advertisement on TV. 

The campaign uses user generated content taken from existing MOJO owners (called the MOJO Tribe). It also has an on-road initiative with attractive Born For The Road points of sales kiosks (POS) at dealerships followed by a SpinTheKnife activity where the bikers spin a virtual knife on a map to figure out their next journey’s direction, thereby effectively building the touring credentials of the MOJO. The campaign firmly establishes the MOJO’s position as a motorbike with long distance touring capabilities, for which it has been widely recognized since its launch in October 2015.

Commenting on the thought process behind the new ad, Shormistha Mukherjee, Director & Co-Founder, Flying Cursor, said: “At Flying Cursor, we’ve always been thrilled to work on MOJO and our aim has been to bring alive the tourer proposition in the most authentic, most engaging way possible and to capture almost every biker's dream of taking to the road, with his tribe. Which is where the Born For The Road idea came from. In fact, we’ve always looked to create a connection with bikers that goes beyond the product, so if you look at the MOJO mobile app or the film, there are different ways in which bikers can truly experience the joy of riding and the feeling of a community.”

Together with the launch of this campaign, Mahindra Two Wheelers also brings focus on the biker community – the MOJO Tribe. The MOJO Tribe culture was launched in October last year, made up of MOJO owners. The core philosophy of the campaign –where the journey matters more than the destination - was recently exemplified with the Jungle Trail. Taking it forward, registrations are now open for owners and biking enthusiasts for the daunting and challenging ‘Mountain Trail’. Spread out over 15 days, the motorcycle ride will begin from New Delhi on July 24 and end at Chandigarh on August 7. The ‘MOJO Tribe’ will cover distance of over 2700 km, traversing through some of the harshest terrains and highest motorable roads in the world.

Volkswagen Group’s strategic partnership with on-demand mobility provider Gett

The Volkswagen Group opens the way for new mobility concepts with a significant $300 million stake in Gett. On the map with over 60 cities worldwide, Gett is one of the fastest growing ride hailing providers in the mobility-on-demand area. Based on a joint strategy, according on-demand mobility services will be further expanded.

Innovative, digitally integrated services covering all aspects of mobility promise very strong growth momentum and huge earnings opportunities in the coming years. The ride-hailing market represents the greatest market potential in on-demand mobility, while creating the technological platform for developing tomorrow’s mobility business models. The Volkswagen Group’s expressed goal is to generate a substantial share of sales revenue from such new business models by 2025. To this end, the Group is opening for new partnerships and strategic investments.

“Alongside our pioneering role in the automotive business, we aim to become a world leading mobility provider by 2025. Within the framework of our future Strategy 2025, the partnership with Gett marks the first milestone for the Volkswagen Group on the road to providing integrated mobility solutions that spotlight our customers and their mobility needs,” says Matthias Müller, Chairman of the Board of Management of Volkswagen Aktiengesellschaft. 

Just one month after announcing plans to launch a legally independent company for the development of mobility services, the Volkswagen Group is resolutely driving forward the future of mobility.

A key partner in this area will be Gett, one of the leading providers in the European ride hailing market with development facilities in Israel. Gett is available in more than 60 cities worldwide, including London, Moscow and NYC. In London alone, half of all the black cabs use Gett. Uniquely, Gett’s convenient and at the same time highly efficient mobility solution is equally successful with consumers and businesses. It is already trusted by more than 4,000 leading corporations worldwide. The business model is based exclusively on licensed drivers who have a permit to carry passengers and are committed to providing safe, reliable mobility.

“The Volkswagen Group and Gett is a great strategic partnership. The pay-per-ride domain is growing rapidly. In that context, Gett provides VW with the technology to expand beyond car ownership to on-demand mobility for consumers and businesses,” says Shahar Waiser, Gett’s Founder and CEO.

Through the Gett app consumers can, at the touch of a button, book on-demand rides instantly or pre-book rides for later. Besides transportation, Gett covers innovative delivery and logistics. Constantly evolving, Gett’s technology leverages big data, cutting-edge predictive algorithms, and artificial intelligence. It therefore serves as the foundation for a viable on-demand autonomous car operation.

With the support of the Volkswagen Group, one of the world’s largest carmakers, Gett will further strengthen its position in the market. Based on a strategic alliance agreement, the partnership’s joint growth strategy is focused on collaborative development and market expansion of on-demand mobility services in Europe and beyond.

Completion of this transaction is still subject to merger control clearance by antitrust authorities.
Matthias Müller and Shahar Waiser will be announcing further details of the strategic partnership in a joint event scheduled for the coming week.

Gett is an on-demand mobility company, changing how people move around and Gett things. A leading provider in Europe, Gett is available in more than 60 cities worldwide, including London, Moscow, and NYC. Gett’s technology enables consumers to instantly book on-demand transportation, delivery and logistics. Gett offers the only full on-demand business mobility solution, Gett for Business, trusted by over 4,000 leading corporations worldwide. Gett has raised over $520 million in venture funding, and was selected by Forbes as one of the “top 15 explosively growing companies”.

Lucky Tiago owners meet Lionel Messi in Barcelona

After an exciting year of aggressive and highly engaging marketing campaigns for its new generation passenger vehicles, Tata Motors released the #TIAGO11 promotional contest hosted on the Tiago from Tata Motors Facebook page and Twitter handle Eleven lucky winners of the contest travelled to Barcelona, Spain, a once-in-a-lifetime-opportunity to meet the great football player Lionel Messi, the Global Brand Ambassador of Tata Motors Passenger Vehicles.

Dayco receives Best Plant Award from PSA

Dayco, a leading engine products and drive systems supplier for the automotive, industrial and aftermarket industries, recently announced its bagging of the Best Plant Award from the PSA Group, the French manufacturer of automobiles sold and marketed under the Peugeot, Citroën and DS brands. The Award, presented during PSA’s 12th annual Best Supplier Awards, recognizes the Dayco belt manufacturing plant in Manoppello, Italy, for its performance in manufacturing excellence according to the PSA Group’s quality standards.

“Dayco is honored to receive the Best Plant Award from the PSA Group for the second consecutive year,” said John Bohenick, Chief Executive Officer for Dayco. “Dayco Associates are committed to achieving customer satisfaction by designing quality into our products, systems and services with reliable processes driven and backed by an organization with a zero-defect mindset. We thank PSA for relying on Dayco to continue delivering essential engine components and drive systems that help them design, manufacture and sell vehicles worldwide.”

The Dayco plant in Manoppello produces timing belts and Dayco’s first-to-market timing belt-in-oil system used in multiple applications, engines and industries. The 200 Dayco Associates working in the Manoppello plant manufacture timing belts and timing belt-in-oil systems for PSA’s main diesel and gasoline engine platforms and have done so for more than 25 years. Opened in 1975 and acquired by Dayco in 1993, the Manoppello plant is also home to one of Dayco’s newest products, the Electric Power Steering Belt.

“It’s really a pleasure for me, and for all of the people that work in this plant, to see our daily efforts recognized by our customers especially when the award comes from one of the most important global vehicle manufacturers,” said Carlo Fulgenzi, Manoppello Plant Manager. “This Award gives us additional motivation to work even harder and continue to manufacture sound products that perform without fail.”

Dayco also manufactures PV belts, tensioners, pulleys and friction wheels for PSA’s gasoline, diesel and diesel mild hybrid engines.

PSA Best Supplier Awards celebrate suppliers who are fully engaged in their relationship with the PSA Group and who have demonstrated the deepest understanding of its expectations and the most proactive ability to meet them. At this year’s event, PSA presented 79 production facilities with the Best Plant Award in recognition of their performance in manufacturing excellence according to the Group’s quality standards, from producing the vehicle to handing over the keys to the end customer.

Friday, May 27, 2016

Renault India forays into pre-owned car market

Renault India, one of the fastest growing automotive companies in India, announced the launch of RENAULT selection in Bangalore recently with the inauguration of a state-of-the-art facility – RENAULT Selection Whitefield. RENAULT selection is the pre-owned car brand of Renault India which provides customers a transparent and reliable platform for customers interested in buying, selling and exchanging certified pre-owned cars of all brands with optimum deals on finance, insurance, warranty and Road Side Assistance (RSA). Through this business vertical, Renault will also cater to customers wanting to sell multi-brand used cars in exchange for a brand new Renault car.

Renault recently made the announcement, with its partner Trident Auto at its facility located in Whitefield. The state-of-the-art multi-brand pre-owned car outlet is spread over 21,000 sq. feet, which facilitates sale, purchase and exchange of both Renault and non-Renault branded vehicles. The facility can accommodate 100 cars at any point in time, giving customers complete freedom of choice.

Speaking on the launch of the RENAULT selection in Bangalore, Mr. Sumit Sawhney, Country CEO and Managing Director, Renault India, said: “Renault is pursuing an aggressive growth strategy in India and we are entering new businesses in the automotive space, to best serve the Indian customer. The pre-owned car market in India has steadily gained momentum over the past decade, spurred by new model launches, quicker upgradation cycles by customers and rising income levels. There are several customers looking for a value purchase in the pre-owned car market, with an experience that provides complete peace of mind. There are also numerous customers who want a trustworthy platform to sell cars, or exchange it to buy a new Renault vehicle. With RENAULT Selection, we will address these needs, by offering customers the best quality of multi-brand pre-owned cars, as well as Renault’s segment defining products.”

RENAULT Selection Whitefield is located at Narayanpura Village, K.R. Puram, and it offers a world-class showroom designed to provide a superior buying experience. On display will be a wide choice of multi-brand cars and Renault’s range of certified pre-owned cars. Each certified car is put through 199 quality checks, which authenticates the vehicle condition along with accompanying documents to offer customers complete peace of mind. All the certified vehicles get covered with warranty of upto 1 year or 20,000 km with cashless warranty claims available at over 1,000 authorised workshops in India. The warranty comes with 24X7 Road Side Assistance (RSA) for the same period.

The pre-owned car market is getting increasingly organized and has immense potential. Through RENAULT selection, Renault will help most of the first-time car buyers fulfil their dream of owning a car. It will also serve existing Renault customers wanting to buy a new Renault car, to exchange/upgrade his vehicle under one-roof.

“Estimates suggest that the pre-owned car market is nearly 3 times the size of new car volumes in Western Europe, the UK and the US. In India, the used car market is already more than the new car volume and it is estimated to reach twice the size of the new car market within the next 5 years. Given this, RENAULT Selection, will play an important role in building the Renault brand in India,” added Mr. Sawhney.

RENAULT Selection will start operations in India with 4 facilities planned in Bangalore, Jaipur, Nagpur and Chandigarh. These state-of-the-art outlets shall offer a wide choice of certified multi-brand vehicles to customers, along with warranty and RSA and an unmatched customer experience. Renault will expand the foot print of RENAULT Selection to all significant markets in the coming years. 

Together with its progressive product portfolio expansion strategy to drive volumes in India, Renault is substantially increasing its sales and network reach in India. With significant steps on product, network and the brand, Renault is truly ready for the next phase of growth in India. Renault India was aiming to achieve a market share of 5% by 2017, but basis the huge demand for its models, the company is confident to reach the target by the end of 2016, a clear testimony of its rapidly growing success in India.