German auto giant Volkswagen is reviewing its global media planning and buying account, a contract that is estimated to be about $4 billion. Media spends in India are in the range of Rs150-180 crore and leading agencies like GroupM which owns Mindshare and EssenceMediacom, Dentsu and Publicis Media, are pitching for the automaker's media planning and buying account.
Last year, Dentsu lost a key auto account, Maruti Suzuki India, which spends close to Rs1000 crore, to GroupM-owned Mindshare. So Dentsu is missing a marquee auto brand in its portfolio currently.
Volkswagen's contract with PHD had expired at the end of 2023, kicking off a marathon global media pitch for its $4 billion contract which includes brands such as Volkswagen, Audi and Skoda. PHD had the account since 2016 and before PHD it was WPP’s MediaCom that handled the carmaker's media duties since 1998.
Volkswagen is currently eyeing the entry-level electric vehicle (EV) market in India and is expected to launch the first SUV in the segment later this year, according to reports.
“We are actively working on an entry-level EV. We are evaluating which VW Group platform can be best adapted to build a compact electric SUV in India,” Piyush Arora, CEO of Skoda Auto Volkswagen India, told a news agency recently. According to Arora, the Volkswagen Group will need to invest “in triple-digit million euros” to introduce electric SUVs in India.
In February 2024, Jan Bures was named the new executive director of sales, marketing, and digital at Skoda Auto Volkswagen India, in charge of the group brands such as Skoda, Audi, Porsche, Lamborghini and the flagship Volkswagen.