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It's Hyundai Electronics vs Hyundai Motors

By Parvathy Ullatil in Mumbai
September 30, 2004 10:07 IST
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Hyundai Electronics, the latest entrant to consumer durables market, seems to have started off on the wrong foot by stepping on its namesake Hyundai Motor India's toes.

HMIL, the domestic arm of the Korean chaebol Hyundai Motor Company, is unhappy with Hyundai Electronics' outdoor advertising campaign, which bears an image of HMIL's luxury car Sonata. Hyundai Electronics' Indian partner -- Videocon Group -- finds no reason to withdraw the campaign.

HMIL president B V R Subbu said, "Our legal counsel has written to the Videocon chairman Venugopal Dhoot to understand why they are using the Sonata in their advertising campaigns. Our legal team will meet with them to discuss this." Subbu clarified that HMIL has not issued a legal notice to Hyundai Electronics yet.

Subbu said when the Hyundai group fragmented in the year 2000, the group companies parted ways and are now completely independent entities. Hyundai Motor Company broke away from the business Group in September 2000.

Pradeep Dhoot, director of the Videocon group, said he hasn't received the HMIL letter yet, but was vehement about their right to use the Sonata in its advertising campaign.

"I haven't received any letter from them but I don't see how they have any objection. Both companies have a common promoter and this gives us the right to use the car in our campaign," explained Dhoot.

Hyundai Electronics is making its domestic foray by tying up the Videocon, which will hold a 26 per cent stake in the domestic arm of the company.

The Hyundai Electronics hoardings, which have cropped up over the last two weeks, bear a picture of the Sonata (without the Hyundai 'H' badging) and read "The latest breakthrough in technology....." hinting an association with the car company. Company sources said that this was an attempt to ride on HMIL's brand equity in India.
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Parvathy Ullatil in Mumbai

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