Source: Vauxhall/Tesco

The partnership follows a campaign by Vauxhall promising new EV drivers free charging for a year at Tesco hubs

Vauxhall branding will now appear across Tesco car parks, as part of a new media partnership between the supermarket and car manufacturer targeted at electric vehicle drivers.

Under the new deal, the supermarket’s retail media network – Tesco Media & Insight Platform – will promote Vauxhall products to customers across its network of social, digital, connect-TV channels, as well as on in-store radio and via the Tesco magazine.

It will also see Vauxhall branding added to Tesco’s network of 2,700 charging bays, across 619 stores. Vauxhall branding will also be displayed on integrated digital screens at each of the charging hubs.

Tesco Media & Insight Platform is run in conjunction with consumer insights player Dunnhumby. It uses data from the more than 20 million households that use a Tesco Clubcard to inform advertising, which it can then sell to brands or use to inform campaigns across its own network of screens and media.

The partnership would enable Tesco to “refine” and “better target” Vauxhall advertising specifically towards customers who were also interested in electric vehicles, the companies said.

It’s the second major announcement between the two companies targeted at promoting the use of EVs in the space of a week, after Vauxhall launched a sales campaign promising a year’s supply of free charging from Tesco charge points to anyone buying one of its new EVs.

Supermarkets growing EV networks

Both have different motivations for growing their presence in the EV space.

Like other global automakers, Vauxhall owner Stellantis is under pressure to shift more of its sales to EVs ahead of the UK ban on sales of new petrol and diesel cars in 2035.

On the same day of the Tesco media partnership being announced, Stellantis confirmed plans to begin production of new ranges of electric van, which includes Vauxhall lines, at its plant in Luton from 2025. It’s the second major EV production site confirmed by the company in the UK, after it shifted production at its Ellesmere Port plant to focus solely on EVs, which began in September.

At the same time major supermarkets – which already have established UK-wide petrol forecourt networks – have been stepping up their operations to ensure they’re in pole position to capitalise when the use of EVs becomes more widespread.

Tesco already has a major network of EV charge points, via a tie-up with Pod Point and Volkswagen launched in 2019. Last month, Sainsbury’s launched its own in-house electric vehicle charging business Smart Charge, which it aims to roll into 100 store car parks by the end of the year. 

“We see a clear opportunity to harness the power of Tesco’s own channels to convey our messages to audiences across the UK to give consumers confidence,” said Phil Douglass, Vauxhall motors marketing director.

“We’re committed to electrifying Britain and helping motorists make the switch to electric with confidence. As part of our Electric Streets initiative, we are working to make sustainable electric mobility accessible for all. There is an excellent synergy with our Electric Streets initiative, through which we are offering 12 months’ free charging at Tesco stores to all new EV customers.”

Tesco has not confirmed whether the new partnership would end its tie-up with Volkswagen.

“What retail media can offer brands is truly unique and we’re delighted to partner with Vauxhall to help them deliver the right advertising to the right customers in a strategic way,” said Simon Lonsdale, media strategy director at Tesco Media & Insight Platform.

“Tesco has the largest network of EV charge points of all UK retailers and so it’s a perfect fit to support Vauxhall with their ambition to make electric vehicles more accessible. We look forward to demonstrating how Tesco Media & Insight can help all brands showcase their offerings in new and innovative ways.”