Having Bollywood personalities endorse your products seems to be a fail-proof strategy. And for a long time, car manufacturers have resorted to this technique to build their brand image in India. When General Motors wanted to popularise its Chevrolet brand cars in India, it brought in the Sail Ali Khan and Rani Mukherjee duo. And Hyundai followed a similar trick when it roped in the King of Bollywood, Shah Rukh Khan, to endorse the Hyundai Santro and i10.
The latest car manufacturer to experiment with the Bollywood based brand endorsement strategy is the Japanese car maker, Nissan Motors. Yes, and the brand ambassador is none other but the heartthrob of Bollywood, Ranbir Kapoor. A match made in heaven, did someone say!
Well, this is what Ranbir had to say, “The Micra is a class-defining product and I am particularly excited, as it has been designed for city driving. It boasts of many features that are first in its class. I am confident that this product will redefine mobility for many in India. I look forward to an exciting journey with them.”
Ranbir has signed a three year deal with Nissan and will be seen endorsing the company’s products and services in India through promotion, advertising and marketing. And on Thursday, the multi-media campaign (print, digital, radio and TV) featuring Ranbir will start.
“Ranbir Kapoor is an extremely passionate, versatile and talented film star and he has shown his pedigree in a very short period. We believe Ranbir with his uber cool charm and mass appeal brings in a perfect connect with our brand. Ranbir would endorse all our products and services beginning with the Micra,” said Kiminobu Tokuyama, managing director and CEO, NMIPL.
Nissan will launch the locally manufactured Micra in July, but the pre-launch bookings have started. And guess what, the company claims of having 400 bookings for its hatch. The company plans to roll out 80,000 units of Micra which will take care of both domestic and export needs.
The Chennai plant of Nissan has an annual manufacturing capacity of 2 lakh, which will be enhanced to 4 lakh units in the upcoming years. The company denied to divulge any details pertaining to the time frame.
“We have just started production and we need to ramp up the pace. Production from this plant would be 80,000 units for both domestic market and exports this year,” Tokuyama said.
“Exports at this stage would be greater than the domestic market. But it does not necessarily mean that we are prioritising exports. Both the India market and the emerging markets are important to us,” he said.
The Japanese company also has to focus on improving its dealership network in India. It aims to increase the number of dealers to 100 by 2013. Nissan has chosen Hover Automotive as its service partner for marketing, sales and dealer development in India.