NEW YORK Global Vehicles USA, an Atlanta-based car importer, has named independent StrawberryFrog to handle its advertising account.
Global Vehicles plans to import and introduce to the U.S. market in 2009 the Mahindra nameplate. The vehicles are built in India.
Estimated annual media spending will be $30 million, according to the client.
"StrawberryFrog joins us at an exciting time as we launch Mahindra, the first Indian vehicle to enter the U.S. market," Bill Goetze, president, Global Vehicles, said in a statement. "Just as Mahindra enjoys a worldwide reputation for quality and innovation, StrawberryFrog's reputation for creativity and strategic thinking will help us position Mahindra as a leader in innovative automotive marketing and advertising."
StrawberryFrog will handle strategy as well as creative duties for the introduction of three Mahindra vehicles: an SUV and a pickup truck that come in a two- and four-door models. All the Mahindra's, which are expected to sell for around $25,000, will use diesel instead of gasoline.
Global Vehicles said that 300 dealers, representing all 50 states, have agreed to sell the vehicles. The first Mahindra-branded dealer is set to open in March in Chicago.
"There's something very special about representing Mahindra, the innovative automotive brand, the first to enter the U.S. market from India," said Scott Goodson, CEO of StrawberryFrog. "It's been no secret that we've wanted a major car account in the USA, and we look forward to our partnership with Global Vehicles and Mahindra."
Last July, General Motors hired StrawberryFrog, Amsterdam, the Netherlands, to handle the European launch of the Vauxhall Opel Agila model.
"More than 60 years of innovation and quality have earned Mahindra vehicles a loyal following in India, China, the U.K., Russia and beyond," Goodson said. "With our help, and the distribution power of Global Vehicles USA, Mahindra will earn that same loyalty in America."