Ultra Motor Company (UMC) has entered into a distribution agreement with Reliance Retail in India to market its range of Ultra Powered light electric vehicles (LEVs). Under the terms of the agreement, Reliance Retail will exclusively sell the Ultra Powered LEVs produced by UMC, in association with its Indian partner Hero Cycles Ltd (HCL). All the seven models of the electric two-wheelers are branded as ‘Hero Electric’ with the ‘Ultra Powered’ technology tag.
During the last four months, UMC, in partnership with HCL, has aggressively rolled out its exclusive dealer network. It has already launched its products successfully in the National Capital Region of Delhi and in Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan, West Uttar Pradesh and Gujarat. By mid-September, UMC and HCL will have established 50 exclusive dealer showrooms across North and West India. This would be followed by the opening of showrooms in the southern region in October, followed by presence in the East by January 2008. The company is confident of having 120 showrooms across the country by 2007-08.
Reliance Retail has plans to open an extensive chain of hypermarkets, convenience stores and specialty stores over the next 18 months. Branded as Reliance Mart, the company has recently launched its first hypermarket in Ahmedabad. This will be followed in many other key cities around the country.
The distribution agreement with Reliance Retail will enable UMC to move beyond exclusive dealer outlets and foray into organised retail outlets. In collaboration with HCL, UMC will be also assisting this unique channel with after-sales-service and marketing.
Joe Bowman, CEO, UMC, UK, said, “We are delighted to be associated with Reliance Retail, one of India’s largest organised retail chains, to exclusively distribute our range of light electric vehicles. Ultra Motor brings its pioneering technology in the electric vehicles category and Reliance Retail provides the best in organised retail environment. The combined strength of both companies will give the customer a unique buying experience. We see this as a great opportunity for our business, which will allow us to further boost sales and increase our retail presence in the fast growing Indian market.”
According to Deba Ghoshal, Director-Marketing, UMC, “This is the first time that organised retail has incorporated automobiles too. We have tried to create a new channel for the distribution of our LEVs. The Reliance Mart hypermarket at Ahmedabad was opened on August 15 this year, and we have noticed a healthy consumer off-take. Interestingly, we have seen that even high-ticket purchases are taking place through organised retail, other than just FMCG products. Footfalls in the hypermarket as well as in the Ultra Motor store there have been high and this is a very healthy trend.”
Ghoshal added that the print campaigns would help direct traffic to Reliance Mart, and would thus leverage brand recall for both the brands.
Category creation is the buzzword for Ultra Motors