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Marketing - (Australia)

April 18th, 2007




ACTYON AND ACTYON SPORTS TO PROVIDE MARKETING SPARK FOR RENEWED SSANGYONG ATTACK

The launch of the new Actyon and Actyon Sports presents SsangYong with the opportunity to create a fresh new image in Australia and will provide a launch pad to introduce a new face to Australian roads.

As a relatively new brand in the market, SsangYong's priority is to be included on consumer's shopping lists and believes that the Actyon and Actyon Sports give the brand this opportunity.

SsangYong Australia's general manager sales and marketing, Brad Larkham, says the new Actyon and Actyon Sport will be critical in broadening the appeal of the marque in Australia.

"The Actyon and Actyon Sport will drive showroom traffic and help put SsangYong on a greater number of shopping lists," said Brad Larkham.

"2006 was a year of consolidation for SsangYong in Australia in which we streamlined our marketing focus and brought a planned and uniform feel to our marketing message," he said.

"This will continue in 2007 and will help us firmly establish the Actyon and Actyon Sport models as our volume sellers," he added.

Part of the consolidation in 2006 was bringing together three state based distributors under a single operation.

"When SsangYong launched in Australia under its own name in 2004, sub-distributors were introduced in Queensland, NSW, WA and the Southern region which included Victoria, Tasmania, South Australia and the NT," said Larkham.

"In 2006 the master distributor, Rapson Australia Pty Ltd, bought the state distributors in Queensland, Southern and NSW to enable direct distribution into those areas," he added.

With this consolidated distribution operation in place, a more unified and targeted marketing approach, as well as new models, SsangYong is well equipped to attack the competitive SUV market.

As a result SsangYong is projecting its sales volume to be approximately 3000 units, a marked increase on its 2006 volume of 2206 units.

"The medium SUV and light commercial segments should deliver around the same numbers as 2006 so our job, clearly, is to grow SsangYong's share of that segment," said Larkham.

SsangYong has projected sales of 450 units for Actyon and 1,000 units for Actyon Sport for the remainder of 2007, combined with sales of 250 Kyron, 480 Rexton, 500 Musso (run out), 300 Stavic and 24 Chairman, giving a total of just over 3,000 units for the year.

From a marketing and sponsorship point of view, SsangYong will continue to build on the activity started in 2006.

"Sponsorship of the Australian Superbike series, Port Power AFL team and 18foot skiff racing on Sydney Harbour, have all helped achieve the goal of increasing the brand recognition for SsangYong in this country and we will continue with those programs," said Larkham.

SsangYong standardised the look of its advertising during 2006 and will consolidate and build on the appearance of these ads in 2007.

"A consistent look and message is vital to support consumers recall and familiarity, we learned some valuable lessons in 2006, in particular the strength of online activity to our fledgling brand," he said.

"We conducted one promotion with a popular online car site that not only helped us build a 6,000 strong database to support the launch of Actyon and Actyon Sport, but doubled traffic to our own website.

"We've learned that once a person visits our website, 89 percent will ask for either a test drive or further information," he added.

"For a brand like SsangYong, that is a real opportunity, so driving people to our website remains a primary focus in 2007," Larkham said.


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