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Old 4th December 2014, 20:27   #16
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Default Re: Ford: Exports higher than Indian sales

I agree with Zodak. Its clearly a strategy that Ford has adopted. They have good cars, they have limited production capacity and they dont want to expand. They dont want to add platforms and are clearly looking at utilizing their existing plant without wanting to invest further. I think they have decided to be a niche player and are not willing to play to the gallery. This was clearly evident with the way they have treated the Eco-Sport, a car that has a huge demand but they chose to ration it.
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Old 4th December 2014, 23:06   #17
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Agreeing on many points mentioned in above posts namely over priced Fiesta, dated styling of Figo and not making frequent changes in the product portfolio, I wish to share few things here:

1. What actually is the brand positioning and image of Ford in India, Marutis are cheap to own, BMW's for sports enthusiasts , Hyundai for a VFM package and its fluidic design, VW for build quality, Fiat for suspension and driving pleasure. I still do not know the real brand pull Ford creates and what differentiates it from the competition.

2. One reason i feel after having Figo for daily chores at home is that its spares and accessories are not easily available with local vendors, the indian mentality hugely relies on this point from changing of a wiper blade to headlight assembly, co's like Tata, Maruti and even Toyota have good seller base and availability.

3. Though subjective, but i have found the service personnel in Ford dealerships to be rude, arrogant and uninterested about the customers basic needs and priorities , i for instance have had multiple quarrel and arguments with them in 4 years of ownership of the Figo.

In this era , no matter how good a product is, the after sales service, dedication of the service providers and trust on the brand matters a lot. I hope Ford is listening to all that is being shared on this forum and take due care before coming up with new launches in 2015.
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Old 5th December 2014, 05:43   #18
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Default Re: Ford: Exports higher than Indian sales

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Originally Posted by NST440 View Post
1. What actually is the brand positioning and image of Ford in India, Marutis are cheap to own, BMW's for sports enthusiasts , Hyundai for a VFM package and its fluidic design, VW for build quality, Fiat for suspension and driving pleasure. I still do not know the real brand pull Ford creates and what differentiates it from the competition.
Ford cars in India have always focussed on their driving pleasure, and a car for the driving enthusiast. Right from the 'Josh Machine' tagline of the Ikon to the 'go Fida' ads for the Fiesta, they have targeted their cars to appeal to this segment.

I can understand your point if the manufacturer in question was Chevrolet, who seem to have missed the plot completely.
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Old 5th December 2014, 12:22   #19
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Default Re: Ford: Exports higher than Indian sales

I think we should not be surprised here. There are other Auto giants whose focus is not been India recently. Good example being - Volkswagen AG. The Pune Plant is exporting to Russia and Mexico and shipping parts to Malaysia. They have invested close to 2.5 billion in China and mere 250 million in India this year. Now we can question why they would ignore Indian market. In my opinion , its very difficult to fight with the competition of Hyundai/Suzuki putting together and the same time keeping your core values of quality and driving pleasure intact. Ford is one of the victims of the Indian customers apathy towards quality and safety. If i only take the example of a Car like FORD FIESTA alone, there is no denying the fact that it is the most brilliant car available in the segment.One of the most successful platforms even in European markets(like UK). Yet that falls flat in INDIA. Also, many of us would argue the aspect of service but its is difficult to believe that Hyundai/Maruti/Honda are doing wonders with 100% satisfaction and all others are just plane uninterested (barring SKODA).
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Old 5th December 2014, 12:45   #20
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Default Re: Ford: Exports higher than Indian sales

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I agree with Zodak. Its clearly a strategy that Ford has adopted. They have good cars, they have limited production capacity and they dont want to expand. They dont want to add platforms and are clearly looking at utilizing their existing plant without wanting to invest further. I think they have decided to be a niche player and are not willing to play to the gallery. This was clearly evident with the way they have treated the Eco-Sport, a car that has a huge demand but they chose to ration it.
If you are not aware of it, Ford's new plant in Sanand will open next year and Ford India will double its manufacturing capacity to 610,000 engines and 440,000 vehicles ! There are new platforms coming in with the new Figo / Figo compact sedan and the new Explorer / Endeavour.

They had a winner in the Ecosport and at the end of the day it is a business. Since exports fetch them better margins, it has been given a priority.

Last edited by fiat_tarun : 5th December 2014 at 12:46.
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Old 5th December 2014, 12:52   #21
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If you are not aware of it, Ford's new plant in Sanand will open next year and Ford India will double its manufacturing capacity to 610,000 engines and 440,000 vehicles ! There are new platforms coming in with the new Figo / Figo compact sedan and the new Explorer / Endeavour.

They had a winner in the Ecosport and at the end of the day it is a business. Since exports fetch them better margins, it has been given a priority.
That is good to know! Hope Ford changes its strategy to being more India focussed than what they are doing currently.
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Old 5th December 2014, 13:26   #22
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Default Re: Ford: Exports higher than Indian sales

Ford is not the only one adopting this strategy. I read this ET article recently: How Volkswagen, Nissan & Honda have decoded the profitability puzzle in India. It was quite an eye-opener for me.

With Maruti and Hyundai firmly in the driver's seat (pun intended), I guess most other manufacturers are looking for alternative strategies to justify a presence in India...
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Old 5th December 2014, 14:47   #23
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Ford failed to capitalize on Figo's success. A lot could have been done with it. For instance, they could've given us enthusiasts a 1.6l petrol variant- it surely would have had some buyers
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Old 5th December 2014, 20:26   #24
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Default Re: Ford: Exports higher than Indian sales

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Originally Posted by benbsb29 View Post
Ford cars in India have always focussed on their driving pleasure, and a car for the driving enthusiast. Right from the 'Josh Machine' tagline of the Ikon to the 'go Fida' ads for the Fiesta, they have targeted their cars to appeal to this segment.

I can understand your point if the manufacturer in question was Chevrolet, who seem to have missed the plot completely.
That i know but the thing is how good does the statement hold today? What about the eco sport branding or the figo & new fiesta? I firmly feel that they are not able to sustain this image.The core competency of Ford is still confusing for the average person and the sales & resale value is an indicator of the same.
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Old 6th December 2014, 09:37   #25
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That i know but the thing is how good does the statement hold today? What about the eco sport branding or the figo & new fiesta? I firmly feel that they are not able to sustain this image.The core competency of Ford is still confusing for the average person and the sales & resale value is an indicator of the same.
No sir, the competency is still intact with the newer fords. Ecosport is the best handling CSUV. It is just that Ford's core competencies do not enthuse us Indians.
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Old 6th December 2014, 10:11   #26
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It is just that Ford's core competencies do not enthuse us Indians.
Is refusing pick up / drop service for 'small' cars like the Figo in a city like Gurgaon, part of their 'core competency'?
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Old 6th December 2014, 10:35   #27
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Default Re: Ford: Exports higher than Indian sales

Ford has never got it's strategy right in India. They essentially never recovered from disaster of a pricing strategy with Ford Fusion. A very capable car let down by the pricing blunder. Ecosport could have been the turning point - they had the pricing right at the launch and there was demand for the car. Unfortunately, Ford lost the game with the waiting period and price increases even for the people who booked and were waiting for the car. One of the Senior Ford guys told me that Ford does not really care much because they get way better margins exporting their production than if they sell here. If that is the attitude, Ford will continue to remain a bit player in the Indian market which is sad because Fords are brilliant to drive compared to Maruti's and Hyundais out there

Last edited by chennai-indian : 6th December 2014 at 10:37.
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Old 6th December 2014, 11:14   #28
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Default Re: Ford: Exports higher than Indian sales

Ford has itself to blame for its failure in India - And probably most American brands in India have themselves to blame for their failures. Something common to all these brands is that they just don't care about their Indian operations. That's it. Sales in usdm being their mainstay,they take a dim view of their worldwide operations except high margin markets, they are out to make quick bucks. They have nothing to lose if the Indian operation crumbles as it is too big a company. And all these big Euro and US brands came to India expecting the next big thing only to find that it is a really hard place to do business, low margins and very weird customer behaviour. Maybe too much trouble and not worth it is what they think i guess! . As opposed to Suzuki and Hyundai who are betting big on India and have invested without hesitation even through the troubled times. Because they were not huge companies like ford when they came here and India was a priority for them. Let's see if it remains so when Hyundai becomes bigger still.

Ford's history in India is of constant changes in brand perception (premium to maintstream), overpriced cars (fusion, fiesta previous gen, mondeo), very high service costs and finally capacity constraints and waiting periods. First they had a poor car (escort) to start with. They were a premium brand at the time. Then they launch a very successful product in the Ikon, but service costs are still very high. They get that price down with localisation, in the meantime launching overpriced fusion and mondeo. Fiesta 1st gen (for India) hits the sweetspot, and with figo and ikon remains their most successful cars in India. They are now perceived as a mainstream car maker and not that premium anymore. But then they think it wise to launch the new fiesta with premium pricingand fails miserably. So they figure out that "we need a mass market car"and gets in the old fiesta based figo which sells well intially, loses momentum since all they could do to it was make it look worse with one comsetic makeover. Next, they have the ecosport with all the hype and then they don't want to sell it to you in numbers. Now people have almost forgotten about the ecostport, and ford is back at square one. Now what next?

VBasically, they have to get their act together. They take one step forward and two backwards. This has left their brand image all over the place - some still think it is a premium brand (I bought an old Ikon for bike money and someone asked 'you got a ford for that?'), some think it is prohibitively expensive to maintain, and so on. 'No clear USP then.

The silver lining in all this? The cars themselves. Apart from the escort, all their cars were and are delightful to drive with good handling. It will be a shame if they fold up their act in India then. I could care less if GM did the same, but not ford.

Last edited by wantarangerover : 6th December 2014 at 11:17.
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Old 6th December 2014, 21:23   #29
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Is refusing pick up / drop service for 'small' cars like the Figo in a city like Gurgaon, part of their 'core competency'?
What was that? An attempt at humour? Sarcasm? Is it a tough ask to keep the discussion to the subject?
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Old 7th December 2014, 00:26   #30
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What was that? An attempt at humour? Sarcasm? Is it a tough ask to keep the discussion to the subject?
I mentioned something that actually happened. Multiple times. Since your point was about Ford's competencies and Indians' expectations, I wonder if in a country where a car however basic, is considered a luxury, if Ford has got its competencies misplaced.
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