The motor giants Ford, General Motors and DaimlerChrysler are
joining forces to launch a consumer website and are looking for agencies
to promote the venture.
Covisint, a company formed by the big three motor groups last year, is
to establish an online presence to provide consumers with information
about cars and motor accessories. This is the first time Ford and
General Motors have worked together to target consumers. Covisint was
originally formed as a business-to-business alliance to distribute car
The consumer website is being launched because manufacturers want to
offer consumers advice at the initial stages of the car-buying process
to combat the growing influence of online and offline services such as
Top Gear, What Car? and Fish4.
The pan-European advertising and media pitch, with a budget of up to
pounds 100 million, has reached a second stage with four agency groups
thought to be pitching. These include Young & Rubicam, which is on
Ford's roster, and McCann-Erickson, which is a major General Motors
agency. Sources say CDP, a Honda agency, is also pitching. Eight agency
groups were initially approached.
Each creative agency is pitching in partnership with a media agency.
Covisint has already appointed Interbrand Digital to develop the
Agency sources said that the plans for the new consumer service were at
an early stage but that the launch is designed to provide Ford, General
Motors and Mercedes, owned by DaimlerChrysler, with a direct route of
telling consumers about the benefits of their vehicles.
The Covisint consumer online service is expected to run separately from
existing web services offered by the three manufacturers. General Motors
recently launched a direct selling venture in the UK and other markets,
and Ford launched its Ford Direct service, which also allows consumers
to buy cars online, in the US and UK last year.
Covisint's advertising for its car parts business was launched by Y&R
last October. Its global campaign uses the line: 'Accelerating the pace
Two weeks ago, more than a year after its launch, Covisint appointed a
chief executive, Kevin English, who was previously the chief executive
It also unveiled plans to open a European headquarters in Amsterdam.
Separately, GM is reviewing its pan-European digital account. This is
handled by Modem Media.