Exclusive | Volvo to focus on niche marketing activities: Sudeep Narayan

Volvo, has chalked out an aggressive investment worth Rs 15 crores this year for marketing activities.  As part of its marketing strategy Volvo Auto India will be the “Official Car Partner” for the Lakme Fashion Week (LFW) with Fashion Diva Ritu Beri showcasing designs called “Icons of Luxury” that have stemmed out of a common philosophy of “Designed around You”.
Speaking exclusively to Adgully, Sudeep Narayan, Marketing & PR Director at Volvo Auto India said, “LFW is a very good platform with established credentials in the fashion industry. That is one of the reasons we thought of association and thereby build our equity in fashion. The second reason is our philosophy of “Designed Around You”. So be it technology, design, comfort or safety; when we design comfort we put people inside the car first and then build a car around them. So this entire synergy of design works very well for us.”
Association with fashion is a recent development for Volvo in India, but it is not new to this. Globally it associates itself with fashion in countries like Russia, South Africa and couple of European countries. It is looking at fashion in India in a very different way because here the client who is interested in fashion is the one who constitutes Volvo’s target group. There is synergy between what a fashion designer brings on the ramp and that of the Volvo car designed for the road. Adds Narayan, “it is the merging of the road and the ramp at LFW.”
On asking if Volvo sees itself associating with fashion in a big way going forward, Narayan replied, ‘The intention is of course there to be big in fashion industry because that is one way for the luxury brand to capture its target audience. Our strategy is to forge partnerships with any property where we get out targetted group. Globally that is what Volvo does, when Volvo gets into an event it’s like a partnership.”
Other than this Volvo will focus on out-of-home sourcing and on-ground events. Says Narayan, “We will not use television commercial now as a mode of publicity, but will be focusing on the niche journals.” He further added, “our marketing budget for the year is about Rs 15 crores, which is about seven per cent of the luxury car segment.”
“The company’s luxury brands cater to a niche group and it sold 328 cars last year. This year it took a big leap and exceeded last year’s sales by the end of July 2012. By the end of this year, the company anticipates to deliver 800 vehicles in the Indian auto market, which will be more than 250 per cent more compared to 2011 sales figures”.
The car maker is looking ahead to launch a new model every year consecutively for the next five years. The new line-up of the company will be assimilated with compact, performance oriented powertrains, which will all built on next generation platforms. Currently the car maker employs V6 and V8 motors in its models, which will now be replaced with 1.6 litre and 2 litre powertrains in its entire line-up.
Volvo sees big growth till 2020 by when it expects to sell 20,000 cars. Say Narayan, “till now we were busy building our foundations in the country, the growth will happen now. We see growth and demand coming from small cities of India. Cities like Cochin and Coimbatore to Hyderabad and Bhubaneswar is where we see opportunities.”

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