Mahindra-Renault has signed on Lodestar Universal as its media partner. No pitch process took place before the development. Earlier in the year, Saatchi & Saatchi was announced as the creative partner of the auto major. Though there is no fix on the account size at present, sources estimate it to be much higher than the Rs 10 crore margin.
As is known, Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M) had announced a 51:49 joint venture with Renault in 2005. At present, as part of the joint venture, M&M will produce and sell Renault’s Logan model in India.
Confirming the development, Mahindra-Renault’s Rajesh Jejurikar said, “Lodestar Universal already handles the Mahindra & Mahindra business and there are obvious synergies between the two brands that can be leveraged and hence, it made sense to appoint Lodestar Universal for Mahindra-Renault as well.”
Lodestar Universal’s Vice-president, Nandini Dias (who has been heading the Mahindra & Mahindra business), said, “Winning a new business is always a thrill, but there is nothing more satisfying than getting more from an existing client. We are pleased at the trust that M&M has shown in us and we look forward to partnering the company in creating the brand’s place in the Indian market and taking it to new heights.”
Company officials had expressed at the time of firming up the JV that Logan would hit the market in the first half of 2007. It may be noted that there is no change in the advertising duties of M&M, the creative being with Interface and the media with Lodestar Media.
In the new venture, M&M will additionally handle finance and distribution. Renault will be responsible for purchase, engineering and quality. The Indian company will have four board members to Renault’s three, with M&M appointing the MD, and the latter the non-executive Chairman.
Logan, an entry-level C segment car, with its production hub currently in Romania (where Renault owns local car-maker Dacia), is being primed for a global production figure of 600,000 units over the next 2-3 years. The car will be manufactured for a fee at M&M’s Nashik, Zaheerabad or Haridwar facilities and sold under the Mahindra-Renault brand.
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