Paine PR switches gears to devote more time to Suzuki

COSTA MESA, CA: Paine Public Relations has ended its relationship with Hyundai Motor America so it could take on dollars 1 million in auto PR work for American Suzuki Motor.

COSTA MESA, CA: Paine Public Relations has ended its relationship with Hyundai Motor America so it could take on dollars 1 million in auto PR work for American Suzuki Motor.

COSTA MESA, CA: Paine Public Relations has ended its relationship with Hyundai Motor America so it could take on dollars 1 million in auto PR work for American Suzuki Motor.

The dollars 7.5 million-billing agency has handled US PR for Suzuki motorcycles since 1991, making Suzuki its oldest existing client, said Linda Landers, SVP. 'This was a big enough win that we had to give up Hyundai,' she explained of the new Suzuki auto PR business.

Suzuki has spent the past two years building its internal PR department to four people and felt it was time to take on an agency for auto PR, said Celeste Speier, manager of public relations. She confirmed that the automaker expects to spend about dollars 1 million on outside PR this year.

'Paine has done a great job for motorcycles,' Speier said. 'Giving it the auto PR business was a nice synergy. This will be a nice shot in the arm for our efforts.'

Suzuki wants to grow its share of the US auto market from its present level of less than 1% to 1%, Speier explained. It introduced a new SUV this year and plans another vehicle launch at the New York Auto Show in April.

Paine, which recently opened a New York City office, will work on the New York Auto Show product launch, as well as other trade shows, event management and corporate brand building. Suzuki is hoping Paine can find events at which it can promote Suzuki's motorcycles, cars and marine products.

Suzuki uses Bear Advertising in West Lake Village, CA for its marine products PR and advertising.

Paine will have seven people working on Suzuki auto PR in addition to the five who work on Suzuki motorcycle PR, said Landers.

Hyundai has been searching for a new West Coast agency that can also handle national corporate PR issues, using Los Angeles-based search firm Jerry Swerling & Associates to find likely candidate firms for the dollars 500,000 account. Since last year, director of communications Chris Hosford has been putting together a national network of regional PR firms to handle the business. Other Hyundai agencies include John Bailey & Associates in Detroit and the IAC Group in Miami.

Hosford has explained that he prefers local agencies as they are in better touch with regional auto-related events.





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