The Times of India group has launched a fortnightly auto supplement titled ‘Auto Mania’, with The Economic Times in Chennai. The group hopes to take forward the four-page feature as a weekly soon, even as it is planning more niche add-ons to the financial daily’s Chennai edition.
Presently, the only other edition of the group to have the Auto Mania supplement is the Delhi edition of the ET.
Speaking to exchange4media after the launch of the product in Chennai, Ninan Thariyan, GM, Chennai, TOI Group, said, “We see the auto vertical as a growing segment for both advertisers and readers. The Auto readership is explained by a psyche, as automobiles as a segment is a passion for many. We observe that those interested in automobiles are also the target group for several lifestyle products and we want to create a platform for advertisers to reach that audience.”
The group is entering the fray after The Hindu has launched its special auto segment on Mondays, and among the notable others is Business Standard whose ‘Motoring’ section is a weekly mainstay. The differentiation will come with localized content and the treatment of news on the segment, we are assured.
Explained Thariyan, “Right now, the market is really emerging, and there is a situation where the consumer is seeking more information. There is a need to demystify the auto products and enhance the buying experience with relevant information. Chennai being the Detroit of Asia, we see a huge potential in this segment, and given the auto industry’s pace of growth, we are all the more confident of the product.”
The content is shared with the Delhi edition, and a lot of it is also sourced from other options available through the Times Network. The group is looking at more niche areas at this point, and evaluating options. On the circulation front too, there is possibility of a slight increase that is being foreseen, thanks to Auto Mania.
“On the days on which the Madras Plus is circulated, we see a slight increase in the circulation of the ET. The spike is more in the case of days on which Ascent is published. So I assume there is a correlation. We’re looking at more niche areas for supplements and believe there is scope for a few more,” added Thariyan.
Madras Plus is a city-centric add on that comes with the ET on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, and Ascent is published on Tuesdays. The group had recently launched a free neighborhood newspaper, Neighborhood Times, which is said to be performing stably in the market with a circulation of around 40,000 copies in one part of Chennai - Anna Nagar. ET Auto Mania will be a four-page supplement circulated free of cost with the ET every fortnight, until the frequency is increased.