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Old 7th January 2015, 14:55   #1
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Default The Curious Case of the Ford Fiesta

The train of thought detailed here began last year, ever since Iíve started contemplating an upgrade from my Wagon R to the Ford Fiesta.

Unlike its illustrious competitors in the C2 segment such as the City, Verna, Vento, Rapid etc, the Fiesta triggers a pitched battle between the head and the heart. But my question is why should it? Isnít it a competent car in its own right which would appeal to logic as well?

Globally, the Fiesta is much loved and has consistently found favour with customers for decades. Available in various avatars such as hatch, saloon and van, this amazing machine has won accolades, including being declared the 2013 car of the year by Top Gear. It has achieved consistent success, especially in the UK and has made a mark as a rally car too.

Such a footprint is tough to match and one would expect Ford India's cash registers to keep ringing from revenue generated from the Fiesta-except, it doesnít.

The erstwhile classic was and continues to be one of the top driverís cars you can get. 5 years back, Ford was selling 2-2.5K copies and coupled with the Ikon, Ford was a force to reckon with. Fast forward to the present and we are presented with a abysmal figure of 218 units of the new Fiesta + Classic.

Such a figure severely dampens the spirit of customers who want to get their hands on the Fiesta which, in its present form, provides an appealing combination of styling and performance. Granted, itís not as powerful as the Vento or Verna but few can match up to its handling, dynamics and looks. Reasons for which I am strongly inclined towards it.

I wonder what ruined it all. Ford has had a strong presence in India and many happy customers. Their products are not very pricey to maintain. Havenít heard of niggles and issues as well. Was it the pricing of the new Fiesta which sent its fate crashing like Hondaís Jazz? Was it the reduced power of the petrol as compared to the Classic?

If I do go for it, I will have to settle for poor resale value but thatís a gamble I think I would eventually take. My point is itís frustrating to be in this dilemma in the first place with a competent product such as this
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Old 7th January 2015, 19:58   #2
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Default Re: The Curious Case of the Ford Fiesta

Wolfconsole, I was very keen on buying the New Fiesta, but it remains above my budget, and it comes only with the oil-burner. I would have loved if Ford had it in the petrol version, given my running.

Regarding your dilemma, if you plan to keep the car for more than 5 years, I suggest you go for the New Fiesta. In my opinion, its exclusive looks, and its unparalleled handling, steering and good ride are worth the potentially poor resale value you mention.

Have you gone through the Ownership reports of Anachronix and Porschefire in the forum, apart from the Review? I guess these threads will settle the dilemma you are in as the comments there discuss the issues you have raised.
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Old 7th January 2015, 20:06   #3
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Default Re: The Curious Case of the Ford Fiesta

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Originally Posted by Wolfconsole View Post
I wonder what ruined it all. Was it the pricing of the new Fiesta which sent its fate crashing like Hondaís Jazz?
I think the "What you won't" heading in the Team-BHP official review answers yours question:

Quote:
ē Priced significantly higher than its competitors
ē Interiors at the rear look and feel like they are from a segment lower
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Old 7th January 2015, 20:17   #4
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Default Re: The Curious Case of the Ford Fiesta

It's a very competent car, and even if it lacks horses under the hood compared to competition, it beats most of them hands down when it comes to having fun behind the wheel. It's probably the best handling compact sedan in India (alongside the Linea). We own a Ford and it's cheaper to maintain than our Hyundai and most Marutis in my known circle, so the 'high maintenance' myth is just that, a myth.

As to why it's a dud, the Indian mass market is different from it's global counterparts and still works on certain pre-conceived notions (hatches shouldn't cost more than a sedan, just for one example). There are many, many more. Even the Jazz fell prey to the mentality more than anything else, high price or not.


Call me naive, but I think one really shouldn't be buying a car to have fun with resale value in mind. Budget enthusiast cars have never commanded good resale and probably never will. It's upto you to decide what matters more, the money in your wallet X years from now when you sell it, or the smile on your face every time you park your car after a drive in the X years you'll own it!

Last edited by Chetan_Rao : 7th January 2015 at 20:24.
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Old 7th January 2015, 22:19   #5
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Default Re: The Curious Case of the Ford Fiesta

Ford's registers were ringing so loud they forgot to hear their competitors marching in full throttle and their customers screaming for new models and cars.

They stretched the Fiesta Classic till the cows would come home and then some. All with multiple "editions" and "sport" versions. All the while, the market was changing dramatically around them with newer cars showing up by the day. They chose to hold out on the new Fiesta and by the time it hit the market, it was overpriced, a bit unsightly and had to compete with the Honda / Hyundai / Maruti clash of titans in the battle for supremacy. Not to mention that even the VW / Skoda guys were crying hoarse with their german-engineered products.

Indian customers are very perceptive and they just don't give a damn to a pompous car company that thinks it's doing a huge favor for India by showing off it's old model in new skin / colors / variants.

Add to that the taxi / hotel segment started picking this up like crazy, it just lost it's sheen.

Now, suddenly Ford is a one-trick pony (EcoSport) until they get their next product line up ready. Which, at this point, looks quite a long way to the horizon.

BTW, I drive a Figo as my daily-driver and am head-over-heels in love with this car. It's just so totally fun to drive (despite a grunty engine!)
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Old 7th January 2015, 22:43   #6
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Default Re: The Curious Case of the Ford Fiesta

The last I had been to the service center, (To get my Figo serviced) asked the service person about the Fiesta, and he replied, 'sakkat light steering sir' (Very light, it feels to drive)
I beg to disagree there. If it is anything like the Figo, or the Fiesta 's' that I have driven before, it should be the best car to drive. Maybe, the EPS might be aiding a bit more, but surely it should be direct.

But there seems to be a negativity about the car, even with the Ford personnel themselves, who do not rate the car so much, which will be shooing away the potential buyers.

I guess, Ford India was never a multi model success story. They always have been a one car success story, the Ikon, The Fiesta, Figo, And now the Ecosport. They could never concentrate on a backup success plan.
Their current focus mostly would be on the new Figo, I guess
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Old 7th January 2015, 22:45   #7
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Default Re: The Curious Case of the Ford Fiesta

H wolfconsole, you wouldnt go wrong with the new fiesta., well apart from the resale value as you have already factored it in. I think the Rapid, Vento and Verna will be in the fiesta category if you happen to see on resale terms. Owning one and almost near a lakh kilometers, the car is solid. The engine is still as smooth as ever and munching miles is almost stress free. It may be a tad bit underpowered by makes up with great drivability and handling characteristics.

What I was really ridiculed by, is the fact Ford is yet to launch the facelift version yet in B segments (Salem). On enquiry during my last service, I was told by the sales rep that so far they havent sold even one from their dealership. With the new facelift fiesta the pricing also seems to been very competitive but just havent seen one around so far. Maybe they are content that the ecosport is doing them favours.

Cheers
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Old 7th January 2015, 22:53   #8
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Default Re: The Curious Case of the Ford Fiesta

The original comment on the new Fiesta was that it was priced bad. But once the refreshed new Fiesta came up with a good pricing, it still did not solve the problem. So rear space aspect still plays a big part apart from pricing. But still I thought it should do about 1500/2000 per month at least. But not even close.
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Old 7th January 2015, 23:08   #9
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Default Re: The Curious Case of the Ford Fiesta

A few factors come into play here:

1. The new Fiesta has a love it or hate it design, especially that derriŤre. The thing is, in India, eccentrically designed cars never do well. Even if a person loves the design, s/he won't buy it just because its unusual, and the the inevitable "log kya kahenge" prevents them from taking the decision.
The list of cars that didn't do well because of their odd looks is huge, and includes examples like the Brio, Nano, Ritz, Evalia, Logan and many more cars. Remember, all these cars are extremely capable, but its their image, literally that detracts them from selling.

2. Pricing- The Fiesta was always a C segment car, that fiercely competed with the City and the Verna. However, on launching the new Fiesta, Ford made the huge mistake of pricing it at par with the entry level D segment. This was a disastrous move, cause again, the image of the Fiesta was always of a car in the segment below, and plonking so much money for a car of a lower segment is not something we Indians like. We appreciate value for money, which we didn't find in the Fiesta. It was an instant market dud.

Additionally, Ford did decrease the price of the Fiesta by a large margin, but it was too little too late for Ford. Once a market dud in India, always a market dud. Turning the fortunes of a car around in India is like sending a mission to mars. Ask Tata, they know it best, with their Umpteen tries to do so for the Nano and Aria.

3.Suiting to the market- Cars in a developed nation like UK are largely self driven, largely due to the astronomical costs of hiring a chauffeur. Hence, more than backseat comfort, one looks for a better drive. And this good driving capability, the Fiesta offers in big supply. However, that backseat is simply too cramped for a Chauffeur centric market like India. This deterred a few customers. Additionally, the mango people, in test drives don't judge the handling capability, as much they test how much power the car delivers. This is another field in which the Fiesta disappoints.

Overall, I think the Fiesta is a great package, but Ford made big mistakes that costed it a chart burning performance. They did however learn from this mistake and priced the "Fiesta on stilts" or should I called it the EcoSport extremely competitively. This car did wonders for the company. I think Ford should introduce the new Fiesta with a new name, new design, better engines and a thoughtful marketing strategy and it might help bring this world famous car to its glory in India

Last edited by prakhar1998 : 7th January 2015 at 23:10.
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Old 7th January 2015, 23:37   #10
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Default Re: The Curious Case of the Ford Fiesta

The face-lift fixed a lot of things. The pricing went from the highest in the segment to lowest. The car got some additional toys too like auto lamps, auto wiper, puddle lamps etc. But Ford goofed up the production volume due to export commitments. The car was simply not available to take home and public lost interest in the car. Its sad really. It really ought to have reached more homes.
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Old 7th January 2015, 23:48   #11
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Default Re: The Curious Case of the Ford Fiesta

Genuine Ford parts not being available over-the-counter across the country has been a deterrent. I hate using some pattern parts from Turkey.
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Old 8th January 2015, 18:26   #12
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Default Re: The Curious Case of the Ford Fiesta

The real problem with the new Fiesta is that it was overpriced at launch. Few cars have ever recovered from a bad launch in India. A flop usually remains a flop.

Ford India has also forgotten the art of selling cars. I mean seriously, they can't do better than 3.5k EcoSports a month? The updated Fiesta brought in 2014 is a great looker and priced really well. Ford forgot to add 'support Fiesta' to its to-do list. It's treating the car like a stepmother .

They also appear to have stopped reading the news. At a time when the diesel/petrol price difference is getting slimmer and the market is moving to petrols in a big way, they discontinue the Fiesta petrol .

The Fiesta & EcoSport are great cars, but suffering at the hands of their maker.

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Genuine Ford parts not being available over-the-counter across the country has been a deterrent.
Good news for you : related link.

Last edited by khan_sultan : 8th January 2015 at 18:35. Reason: Edited for smiley
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Old 8th January 2015, 19:16   #13
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Default Re: The Curious Case of the Ford Fiesta

I had to rent in Dubai & I got a brand new Ford Focus. After the trip, while returning to airport, the boot couldn't take the large check-in bag ! Luckily, we were only two of us with just 1 large bag. I could stuff the bag into rear seat and continue. I know for sure these bags fit in Etios, City - infact these cars can take 2 of these bags. Not sure if this is the case with Indian Fiesta (which looks exactly similar). But this factor would weigh in when somebody makes a buying decision.

Last edited by msdivy : 8th January 2015 at 19:26.
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Old 8th January 2015, 19:23   #14
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Default Re: The Curious Case of the Ford Fiesta

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......they discontinue the Fiesta petrol.....
Tell me about it. I drove a rental 1.6 Petrol DCT in the US, and have been day-dreaming about buying one as my next car ever since, but Ford goes "Petrols for India? No Sir!". All due respect to the capable & fun 1.5 TDCi, but it's not in the same league as its petrol sibling

Last edited by Chetan_Rao : 8th January 2015 at 19:26.
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Old 8th January 2015, 19:29   #15
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Default Re: The Curious Case of the Ford Fiesta

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The real problem with the new Fiesta is that it was overpriced at launch. Few cars have ever recovered from a bad launch in India. A flop usually remains a flop.

Ford India has also forgotten the art of selling cars. I mean seriously, they can't do better than 3.5k EcoSports a month? The updated Fiesta brought in 2014 is a great looker and priced really well. Ford forgot to add 'support Fiesta' to its to-do list. It's treating the car like a stepmother.

They also appear to have stopped reading the news. At a time when the diesel/petrol price difference is getting slimmer and the market is moving to petrols in a big way, they discontinue the Fiesta petrol.

The Fiesta & EcoSport are great cars, but suffering at the hands of their maker.
Plus, they are minting plenty of money by exporting to over 50 countries from India. The ratio was around 44:56 in November sales itself (link (Ford: Exports higher than Indian sales)) in favor of exports, so they are not that bothered about domestic sales right now.

Hardly any advertising or media runs for the new Fiesta ever since it's launch, and it's going practically unnoticed in the market (except for us BHPians who appreciate it for what it is, a stupendous product), when it has at least 2 strong points in it's favor - it's the cheapest diesel sedan in the C2-segment right now, and, it's ARAI certified fuel economy figure (25.01 kmpl) is only second to the City and the Ciaz. Not to mention it's fantastic frontal looks, which cannot be rivalled by any other segment offering. (yes, that includes the new Linea)

Sad to see such treatment by Ford India to it's own cars AND to our market, but with such a huge volume of their profits coming through exports, they won't be complaining about it anytime soon.
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