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Old 9th February 2015, 10:52   #1
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Default Top Indian executives leave Foton Motor India

The Indian operations of Chinese commercial vehicle major Beiqi Foton Motor have not been making progress. The company's top executives, who were hired from Indian companies such as Ashok Leyland, Tat Motors and Mahindra Navistar, are reported to have either been fired or asked to leave the organisation. Additionally, around 24 more senior and mid-level executives have quit. These executives had been handling areas such as manufacturing, auto finance, servicing and marketing and sales.

In 2011, the company had acquired 250 acres of land in Pune and planned to invest Rs. 1,676 crore in setting up manufacturing facility. The company planned to start rolling out vehicles from the plant in 2013 and display them at the 2014 Auto Expo. While one source told Economic Times that the delay in introducing products is due to company re-engineering its products to suit Indian conditions, another one said that Foton has frequently been changing its product plans for India, thus causing harm to its operations.

Foton had announced an investment of $ 400 million in 2011. This is the largest foreign direct investment by a Chinese company in India.

Source: Economic Times
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Old 9th February 2015, 11:08   #2
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Default Re: Top Indian executives leave Foton Motor India

My Friend had been selected to work as an executive in this company few months back. And suddenly cut down was declared. Daily pink slips were given. The company looking really positive 3 months back, suddenly started firing people.

Luckily my friend recently got a job in a very very big company before in the line of fire.

Last edited by GTO : 9th February 2015 at 14:59. Reason: No inappropriate words please, not even indirectly. Thanks
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Old 9th February 2015, 12:50   #3
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Default Re: Top Indian executives leave Foton Motor India

One of my properties has just come up in the vicinity of the Foton Corp Office. I was discussing about it with some Brokers this weekend when someone mentioned about Foton. Apparently, the Co. had bought about 250-300 acres of land in Chakan for their factory & had leased an entire building for the Corporate Office. They were paying about Rs 25 lakhs as rent for the same since the last 2-2.5 years but now are winding up / have scaled down massively. It can be attributed to a lot of factors like not getting the necessary Clearances / Licenses or maybe the parent Co. lost interest or any other reason(s).
All said & done, Foton have lost a large sum of money in this project.
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Old 9th February 2015, 15:52   #4
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Default Re: Top Indian executives leave Foton Motor India

Sad to hear this. Foton is a big, big player in the Chinese commercial vehicle market.

But its not hard to see why they are supposedly withdrawing from the market. They have broadly 3 product categories:

- The Pickup: Whatever market is there for pickups, it is relatively small in India. Forget big boy Mahindra, even fighting with Tata would be difficult. Then, Isuzu - a better known brand with superior quality - has brought in its pickup at 6 lakhs! Isuzu's factory is under construction. Foton's pickup really didn't have a chance. No, we don't want big guzzling diesels either.

- The SUV: No one is going to buy an expensive SUV from an unknown brand. This would be a showroom wallpaper at best.

- Commercial Vehicles: Tata & Ashok Leyland control 75 - 80% of the market (Tata is the God of CVs with 60% market share). Volvo has carved out its own loyal following. That means, the remaining 10 - 15% is fought between AMW, Eicher, Bharat Benz etc. This isn't expected to change in the near future and Tata recently announced 100 new CVs (including variants, of course). Where does that leave Foton?

Chinese manufacturers will definitely come to India one day. But they're still not there yet. And they're going to need a differentiator. Here's a post from an actual Foton owner:

Originally Posted by Champion View Post
Owning and operating a FOTON vehicle, I wouldn't say the above (no offence mate!). No FOTON vehicle (would not include the other Chinese manufacturers) is any close to the quality of Indian manufacturers. But of course, if we mean "Indian manufacturers" as in like HM, Sonalika or the kind, true perhaps. But then it would only be at par with these. I remember when my driver sat on the van for the first time, he said "Bhaiyya, yeh tho hamare ambassador jaisa hai!" (Brother, this is just like our ambassador). This despite the fact that, on paper, it boasted of so many functions which was astounding to my driver himself, who was driving a Nissan Urvan until then.

However, FOTON could be the volume player here. Like somebody earlier pointed out, there isn't that kind of manufacturer to challenge the volumes manufacturers in our country. Only niche players. So if you say FOTON is a formidable force to reckon with in the Indian scenario, I agree. But if you say, its quality is way above Indian manufacturers', NO WAY! We shouldn't generalise on Chinese products as such. We are being specific about a particular company here. As for the quality of the Chinese products, I know that for what you pay, that you get. Top brands from around the world have their manufacturing facility in China, and there's no dearth of quality in any of their manufactured products. A far more developed country it is (thanks to the communist regime), and has got the right kind of manufacturing zones for specific products. All good and agreed. But not FOTON. Simple.

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Old 9th February 2015, 16:55   #5
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Default Re: Top Indian executives leave Foton Motor India

Among Chinese companies, SAIC has the best chance of generating significant sales in India - since they are branded as Chevrolet (Sail, Enjoy etc). Local companies bringing in Chinese cars and branding them is also a pretty decent idea (Force One, Premier Rio).

It's very difficult for Chinese companies to enter India Hyundai style. Two wheeler Chinese companies too made lots of India investment plans before dropping them altogether.

Automobiles (both passenger & commercial) are high value purchases (second only to real estate for a typical household) and it would mean asking customers to make a huge leap of faith to buy unknown Chinese brands.

Why look elsewhere when you can buy Maruti Alto or Hero Splendour?

Last edited by smartcat : 9th February 2015 at 16:56.
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