'Top Gear' first magazine off the TOI-BBC JV rack

MUMBAI: Nine months after The Times of India Group and BBC Worldwide formed a joint venture WorldWide Media (WWM) for magazines the first new magazine has been launched. Not surprisingly the first title is Top Gear - the car magazine that serves as a companion piece to the television show which is hosted on BBC World by Jeremy Clarkson.



The issue was launched last night by Bollywood film star Ajay Devgan who is a car enthusiast. Speaking on the launch WWM director Ian Walton says, "This is the 11th edition of Top Gear and has around 1.5 million readers. It has changed the way the automobile industry is covered. The Indian magazine scene is vibrant and while it is difficult for me at this juncture to give the number of copies we expect to sell we are confident that the magazine will appeal to the men who form our core readership. We are also encouraged by the fact that India is the fastest growing car market in the world."

Talking about who the magazine has done in different parts of the world, Walton adds, "The reason that this magazine has done well in the various countries is due to the incredible journalism. Also we aim to entertain our readers while giving out information. That is not the case with a lot of online articles on cars. They mainly deal with facts and figures which can be boring. Our aim is to go beyond that and be a fun, witty and irreverent experience."



"As for other titles that we would launch in the future we have some ideas on the table that we are working on. The BBC Worldwide magazine catalog is vast and covers subjects like food, kids, history, gardening and women. Certainly some titles here have potential to do well in India. Perhaps six months down the line we would have decided on the next title," he added.

The editor of the Indian version of Top Gear is Gautam Sen who has been covering the auto motive sector for nearly two decades. Says Sen, "We are not afraid to call a spade a spade. Our aim for this consumer lifestyle magazine, as is the case all over, is to make it highly entertaining. Our motto is to always tell the truth for credibility matters. We may upset some people in the industry as a result of this but that is something we are prepared for."

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