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Old 23rd April 2014, 17:42   #16
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Default Re: Ford India: The way forward!

I think that American manufacturers aren't able to put in the right elements for the Indian market. The Japanese(and Koreans) have good designs(not better than Americans) and they cater to the exact needs of the Indian customer.

->Maruti has excellent cars, which are supreme value. They have good interiors, excellent fuel efficiency, amazing ASS. Maruti also launches cars in the right price bracket for the customer(Eg. Drize- Amazing VFM, and sub-4 metre makes it just a very VFM price on road)

->Toyota has good designs(shared with the SE-Asian market), extreme reliability, good fuel efficiency, good space, amazing ASS

->Hyundai put in good designs(in the recent years) and have good FE and ASS. They have also packaged what the Indian customers have.

I would also like to add that the Germans(VW and group) have simply not made cars for Indian markets(volume segment) and have horrible ASS
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Old 23rd April 2014, 17:56   #17
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Default Re: Ford India: The way forward!

I was a Ford flagbearer for 10years. 7years with a Ford Ikon and 3years with a Figo. Was extremely happy with their driving dynamics combined with good quality build and paint finish. I wanted to drive the blue oval for life. When the time came to upgrade, I went to Ford dealers at Bangalore (Cauvery and Lathangi) to book a top of the range Ecosport. To my surprise they did not accept the booking. Despite knowing me from past (as a Ford owner and having referred several of my friends to buy a Ford) they refused point blank. I even offered 100% cash upfront, no go. I felt dejected. Wrote to Ford, no reply. After a week of anguish, I sold my Figo and drove home a Rapid. Got the delivery of a Rapid within a day.

Will I ever buy a Ford in the future? Maybe not. I will always have a soft corner for their cars, but the way I was treated, naaa, I woundnt make the "mistake" again.

I shall treat you the way you treated me. Amen
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Old 23rd April 2014, 18:05   #18
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Default Re: Ford India: The way forward!

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Everything's been downhill thereafter. The new Fiesta was priced to fail and the EcoSport had everything going for it, except Ford's own (production & strategic) support.

This, at a time that Maruti & Hyundai go from strength to strength, while others (such as Honda) spring a surprise or two. Unless Ford brings back some order, focus & solid management, it could be going down the same road that Chevrolet finds itself on today.
I would account this to the factor that probably the management @ Ford is on par with Toyota management and want to see only profit profit profit.

Of course, they may not make as much money as in india by exporting the same model, but the brand value, responsiveness and market share is something that money or profits cannot get.

Also - there was a comment by Mr Singh that ford can produce "any" capacity of Ecosports depending on the demand. Ford have truly fallen back on their own commitment.

Last edited by scopriobharath : 23rd April 2014 at 18:08.
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Old 23rd April 2014, 18:27   #19
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Default Re: Ford India: The way forward!

I'm guessing that companies like Ford & Toyota are hedging their bets - playing the waiting game, waiting for the market to mature further. The Indian market being extremely price & FE centric, is mostly about small hatches and economy vehicles the moment. I'm hoping that they will gain more confidence about this market as it veers upwards gradually.
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Old 23rd April 2014, 19:40   #20
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Default Re: Ford India: The way forward!

Ford cars drive brilliantly case in point is the Ford Fiesta diesel. They make great driver friendly cars. As rightly mentioned by our other tbhpians, they need to price them correctly, reduce the overall cost of ownership and focus on getting more localization, after sales service and overall ownership experience. I personally feel the 1.4 tdci is underpowered on the highway. Ford can give a more peppier engine and higher torque.
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Old 23rd April 2014, 21:49   #21
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Default Re: Ford India: The way forward!

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Originally Posted by mug:mush View Post
I sold my Figo and drove home a Rapid. Got the delivery of a Rapid within a day. I shall treat you the way you treated me. Amen
That's a good payback for Ford. However, I wouldn't recommend a Skoda to anyone with all the issues customers had with their dealerships.

My choice for a car in India? Maruti FTW!
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Old 23rd April 2014, 23:03   #22
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Default Re: Ford India: The way forward!

Has anyone read "American Icon: Alan Mulally and the Fight to save Ford"?

The book highlights the history of Ford, the source of most of its problems over the course of the century, the managements decisions that lead to the mess that happened at Ford USA and Asia. There's also the interesting tidbit about the sale of Jaguar and Land Rover to Tata.

The book talks about all the reorganization and restructuring efforts that have been going on since Ford got Mulally on board.

The reason why I bring it up is, there's not a lot of evidence in the book about Ford India being exactly top priority among management to build market share. They're just about done getting their house in order in the US; doesn't look likely that they're suddenly going to go all-out in India. Also, a lot of worldwide strategy seems to be taking place in Detroit so I doubt Ford India will have its own agenda.

It's an interesting read, look it up.
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Old 24th April 2014, 00:14   #23
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Default Re: Ford India: The way forward!

Relevant thread as coincidentally this was the topic of discussion this past weekend, from the Ecosport the topic veered off to Ford as a manufacturer and we agreed that Ford has a lot of technical expertise and research available at its fingertips, however their utilization is random.

Every Ford car has some connect with its owners and its only in few areas it lacks luster, which many agree to overlook for its strengths, but where Ford should be aggressive and committed to keep its fans in its fold, Ford has a lazy approach by not going after the market.

It is a brand to reckon with as its technical influence in R&D is visible even in brands it sold, all the beautiful cars from Land rover, Jaguar and Volvo were conceptualized when Ford was the parent, the technologies were put to paper then, Ford cars too are FUN-tastic to drive, so Ford has a lot of promise, the R&D is already going strong, its the management that works like a govt office.
Ford's R&D contribution to Land Rover, Jaguar and Volvo will be even more evident when 10 years down the line we may find that their product aren't competent enough unless their current parents lay equal stress on R&D.

Ford needs a management overhauling or its just fighting its own demons.
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Old 24th April 2014, 06:50   #24
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Default Re: Ford India: The way forward!

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Originally Posted by s_pphilip View Post
It is a brand to reckon with as its technical influence in R&D is visible even in brands it sold, all the beautiful cars from Land rover, Jaguar and Volvo were conceptualized when Ford was the parent, the technologies were put to paper then, Ford cars too are FUN-tastic to drive, so Ford has a lot of promise, the R&D is already going strong, its the management that works like a govt office.
Ford's R&D contribution to Land Rover, Jaguar and Volvo will be even more evident when 10 years down the line we may find that their product aren't competent enough unless their current parents lay equal stress on R&D.
Here's an important fact: all that was in Ford Europe where Ford's cars too were very well acclaimed. But because of the strategy (or politics) *then*, those designs were never brought to US.

I think the management now is doing a much better job.
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Old 24th April 2014, 08:38   #25
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Default Re: Ford India: The way forward!

Its the product line up and capacity issues that hampering Ford at the moment.

For getting more market share and making money Ford just needs to bring the following vehicles. EcoSport (yeah, we need more of them), Kuga and Escape.

Add a few cars into the mix like the Fiesta hatch, Focus sedan etc for the enthusiasts and Ford will find its mojo again.
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Old 24th April 2014, 10:20   #26
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Default Re: Ford India: The way forward!

Ford and GM always gave second hand treatment to Indian Car Market.
Ford Escort as well as Opel Optra were not the best product of the respective Companies.
The Indian Fiesta has always been a generation older than its siblings in other countries.

Well you may say Ford Ecosports is the newest of the product but its made for the developing market & India is one of the target market.

I feel that Americans fail to understand that we Indian have knack & knowledge for latest generations of car on sales around the world and we expect all car makers to provide us the best of their products.

Last edited by Wanderers : 24th April 2014 at 10:22.
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Old 24th April 2014, 10:56   #27
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Default Re: Ford India: The way forward!

You already have a very capable & potent chassis & an engine as well for a hot hatch. Petrol cars have picked up pace. Figo's design needs to have a nip & tuck and Ford will have a very good petrol hatch to boast about.

And please, give the diesel Figo the 1.5 engine, it begs for it.

Sedans - Some more styling cues for the upcoming Fiesta. Especially, the boot area.

Mondeo - Launch it the way it appeared. I simply loved it then. Matches & betters the new Octavia/Jetta by a mile.

SUV - Something like a Fortuner. But sans its ride quality. Fast, with good cruising ability and good underpinnings. An all rounder. For hard core off roading, guys can modify it the way they wish to.

EcoSport - Plan a baby & an Eco Sport & keep betting which will arrive faster.

And please ramp up your ASC's & sales & production & keep thinking & innovating.
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Old 24th April 2014, 11:08   #28
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Default Re: Ford India: The way forward!

Ford is the top selling car brand in the UK, and occupies 2nd or 3rd position in Europe. Considering that, I really don’t think their attitude towards Indian market will see any big change. For Ford as a manufacturer, the future looks bright if they can establish India as a manufacturing hub (which will be the case if the Ecosport become a success in Europe). For Indian customers it means extended waiting period or alternate brands.

Think of it as any other manufacturing setup in developing countries. For example, Nike got a big manufacturing setup in a remote village in Vietnam. They setup the factory there because the cheap labour cost (daily wage of around $2 per worker), and not because they intent to sell those shoes in the local market.
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Old 24th April 2014, 14:30   #29
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Default Re: Ford India: The way forward!

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In many ways, Ford & Chevrolet (India) have a lot in common. At any given point in time over the last decade, they've had one product bringing in a chunk of sales.
The comparison between GM and ford is natural in more ways than one. Both are american, both were bankrupt (alrite, ford almost), both (atleast) seemed to consider India as an important market/growth driver and now both are going nowhere in India.

While I really don't see GM picking up in the Indian market with their current line up of absolutely boring cars, Ford may still have a chance. Ford killed the golden goose by focusing on export with their Ecosport. Their only volume seller in India right now is the ecosport and it is unfathomable that they would want to sell more of that outside India.

But I do believe they still have a chance to get back on their feet. Unlike GM, they dont need an "all-new-car" to bounce back. The already have one - the Ecosport. All they need to do is to focus on the Indian market with this car rather than choosing to export it for short term gains.
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Old 25th April 2014, 13:35   #30
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Default Re: Ford India: The way forward!

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In many ways, Ford & Chevrolet (India) have a lot in common. At any given point in time over the last decade, they've had one product bringing in a chunk of sales.

The Figo's pricing, launch & supply was brilliantly executed. In fact, that's the last time we saw brilliance at Ford India. Everything's been downhill thereafter. The new Fiesta was priced to fail and the EcoSport had everything going for it, except Ford's own (production & strategic) support.

This, at a time that Maruti & Hyundai go from strength to strength, while others (such as Honda) spring a surprise or two. Unless Ford brings back some order, focus & solid management, it could be going down the same road that Chevrolet finds itself on today.
Yes . I totally agree with your crisp comment. Order Focus & Solid management. How do they bring these back? Aggression seems to be missing in these areas on a continuous and consistent way.

Whenever I read their press releases discussing macro issues and frequent change of men at the top I wonder do they ever bother about their mundane ground realities of maintaining and not allowing the drifting down ?The bare minimum monthly sales numbers! .

Target can be easily 5000 numbers of Figo and 9000 numbers of Ecosport based on reasonable market expectations. They should not allow it to drift below 4000 and 8000 respectively. It is day to day living that is more important than big future ideas .Year 2013 and 2014 are golden period for Consolidation. Maruti and Hyundai are struggling to maintain their market share. Tata's is below normal , Toyota is on strike. Ford should have bounced back . It is really sad. Missed opportunity. Only Honda utilized this golden period. congrats to them.

Other policies of Ford should revolve around the consolidating minimum sales numbers. As you rightly commented, Figo is a VFM proven product. Ecosport is an attractive and refreshingly new SUV for a reasonable cost in that segment. If they allow drifting for another 3 months they are finished. Let us Hope .

Sorry for a long note. It is heartfelt.
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