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Escorts earmarks Rs 30+ crore for new anti-lift tractors' campaign

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BENGALURU: Indian tractor manufacturer Escorts Limited (Escorts) has brought in a series of innovations to redefine the tractor market under the Powertrac Euro brand – the Anti-lift Tractor models ALT 3500 and ALT 4000 to South India. The series had a limited launch in North India earlier. A BTL campaign in already live and the company has planned a multi-media campaign that will begin in April 2015.

Industry sources peg the marketing spends for the Powertrac-ALT campaign at Rs 30 crore, split equally between ATL and BTL activities. “Since Escorts is pushing for a larger share and also wants to push the new ALT series, I wouldn’t be surprised if it spends even Rs 50 crore or more,” revealed an industry source.

“We will spend whatever it takes, depending upon the need, for the campaign,” Escorts Agri Machinery CEO S Sridhar told Indiantelevision.com at the South India launch in Bengaluru late last week. “With a determination to create tractors of the future that eliminate drudgery from the lives of ordinary Indians, our engineers have understood the pain of haulage customers and designed India’s first comprehensive Anti-lift Tractors – the new ALT Series by Powertrac. We are proud of being the first company in the country that today is catering to operator safety in its own unique way without compromising on machine profitability. Our Anti Lift Tractor brings freedom from drudgery and life threatening situations for the driver while offering never before value for money to the tractor owner,” he added.

Escorts Agri Machinery vice president, head of Knowledge Management Centre (R&D) Shenu Agarwal added, “Anti Lift Tractors from Powertrac once again underline our superior understanding of the customer requirements. No tractor company has endeavoured before to ameliorate the hapless driving conditions experienced by the haulage operators, particularly in mining and transportation. Currently, while driving up a gradient, tractor tends to dance with a fully loaded trailer hitched to it, thereby putting the life of driver and his helper in precarious condition. Increased wear and tear and accidents also increase the inefficiencies for the tractor owner. Our ALT 3500 and ALT 4000 tractors will bring an end to all these untold miseries. We are looking forward to unleash a consumer and dealer awareness drive to communicate the idea behind Anti Lift Tractors.”

Escorts is the third largest player in the approximately six lakh units per annum tractor market in the country. The company sells around 70000 units per annum. In the first year, the company’s target is about 5000 units of the ATL series, which will be ramped up to 20,000 units over the next three years. More variants and models for the ATL series are in the offing, reveal company sources.

Vermillion handles the media buying duties, while NCR region based Sankraft and the Mumbai based Titanium handle the creative duties for Escorts Agri Machinery.

The Escorts Agri Machinery division revenues were up by 13.5 per cent to Rs 5,123.3 crore in 18-months ended March 2014 from Rs 4,513.5 crore in 18-months ended March 2013. The EBIT for the division stood at Rs 496.4 crore in 18-months ended March 2014 against Rs 70.75 crore in 18-months ended March 2013. The company spent Rs 68.37 crores for the 24 month period ended 31 March, 2014, and Rs 45.02 crore for the year ended 31 March, 2014, towards advertising. It spent Rs 140.62 crore in the 24 month period ended 31 March, 2014 and Rs 93.88 crore for FY-2012 towards commission, discount and sales incentive.

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