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Old 19th April 2016, 17:15   #1
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Default Ford cuts production target at plant in Sanand, Gujarat by 50%

Ford cuts production target at plant in Sanand, Gujarat by 50% in wake of declining Figo, Aspire sales

http://www.moneycontrol.com/news/cnb...s_6254981.html
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Old 19th April 2016, 17:23   #2
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Default Re: Ford cuts production target at plant in Sanand, Gujarat by 50%

I don't see any mass market Ford product coming our way. Not everyone can afford the Endeavour and the Mustang is going to be a halo product. With the Fiesta discontinued and the Figo twins selling in meager numbers, I guess we will have to wait for a few years, i.e. until they launch the next-gen Fiesta and other products like the Focus to see if Ford can become a mass segment player.
On the other hand, I wouldn't want Ford to loose its core identity, which it has lost a bit with its new products. I guess Ford India will just watch the next few years pass by without much growth in market share.
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Old 19th April 2016, 18:35   #3
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Default Ford cuts production target at plant in Sanand, Gujarat by 50%

Or they could go out and advertise like they actually want a piece of the pie. I walked into the Elite showroom just to check out the Endeavour (not to buy) and the Aspire (potential replacement). In the half hour my friend and I were there, not a single person even glanced at us. Eye contact was broken in a hurry and they just were too busy discussing something inside the office.

Well then, keep discussing. the numbers will definitely sky rocket based on the outcome of that discussion instead of taking care of visitors.

Last edited by Mad Max : 19th April 2016 at 18:36.
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Old 20th April 2016, 06:14   #4
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Default Re: Ford cuts production target at plant in Sanand, Gujarat by 50%

Well, didnt ford talk about Ford One approach? Same model across all countries? With Aspire/NewFigo they kinda swayed away from that for numbers. Yes, compared to competition these cars are pretty good in quite a few departments but the build compared to previous FORDs is inferior(as mentioned by everyone). And that has been one of the most talked about point when it comes to Figo siblings.

I believe they should stick to their USP(solid build & drive quality) which sets them apart from rest of competition. Look at Ecosport. With price cut it is back in the game. I believe rather than churning out mass products they should concentrate on good products and provide good A.S.S. That would give them premium image as well as decent numbers.

And then they have exports to take care of margins anyways.
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Old 20th April 2016, 07:10   #5
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Default Re: Ford cuts production target at plant in Sanand, Gujarat by 50%

I completely agree with the observation noted above, regarding the pathetic customer interaction at Ford dealership.

I went to actually buy a Ford Ecosport & a Figo at the showroom. After looking around at the display for sometime, I asked the receptionist if there were any sales people at all ! 5 minutes later a guy came munching the last bit of his "samosa"

The guy had half baked knowledge, was looking lost if I asked specifics, was unsure of discounts / stock position.

The Ecosport after the recent price cut makes a great buy. I got the Trend + which is an excellent VFM product. Also got a Figo in trend avtaar. Brilliant cars. I was totally amazed at the Figo's drive & power ! 18 kmpl in city with 100% AC !

Great products - but below average showroom experience ! Ford really needs to address this ASAP lest - the good product portfolio takes a beating at the hands of bad sales teams

Last edited by Ricky_63 : 20th April 2016 at 07:28.
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Old 20th April 2016, 08:10   #6
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Default Re: Ford cuts production target at plant in Sanand, Gujarat by 50%

Well there must be some kind of rejig in Ford India's management. Nigel harris,MD of Ford India should be replaced by some Indian executive who would better understand the pulse of Indian consumers. I agree with other Bhpians here, dealership is the reason why many people have shelved the plans of buying any Ford car. Companies must stick to its USP otherwise the sales will dwindle. People buy Maruti for its very good customer friendliness and ASS similarly people go for VW or fiat for its strong build quality and great driving dynamics. I hope the ford executives are reading these posts and get some sense.
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Old 20th April 2016, 08:35   #7
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Default Re: Ford cuts production target at plant in Sanand, Gujarat by 50%

My experience with the Cauvery Ford Mangalore is different. The sales team is knowledgeable and responsive, but they are shackled by the limited number of cars they get alloted. The dealership has to pre-order variants 3 months is advance based on an educated guess. And if they do not have a specific variant with them, then the customer has to wait 3 months for delivery. This is where ford is losing lot of its customers who have visited the showroom because they want to buy a Ford. Its not like they have a marketing campaign than is driving in people in droves.

Which other maker has this artificial restriction. C'mon Tata is promising Tiago deliveries within 15 days. Honda can deliver a Jazz in 1 week - any variant, any colour. Maruti makes no such promises but it does not need to!!
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Old 20th April 2016, 09:17   #8
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Default Re: Ford cuts production target at plant in Sanand, Gujarat by 50%

Quote:
Originally Posted by samaspire View Post
My experience with the Cauvery Ford Mangalore is different. The sales team is knowledgeable and responsive, but they are shackled by the limited number of cars they get alloted. The dealership has to pre-order variants 3 months is advance based on an educated guess. And if they do not have a specific variant with them, then the customer has to wait 3 months for delivery. This is where ford is losing lot of its customers who have visited the showroom because they want to buy a Ford. Its not like they have a marketing campaign than is driving in people in droves.

Which other maker has this artificial restriction. C'mon Tata is promising Tiago deliveries within 15 days. Honda can deliver a Jazz in 1 week - any variant, any colour. Maruti makes no such promises but it does not need to!!
I wonder what production target ford set with their minimal marketing and 1 to 2 months waiting period even when sales were low.

I had inquired about the figo in November and the sales people at Caculo Ford, who are generally enthusiastic, were more interested in selling the Ecosport. On further probing i found out that they had filled their quota of 25 figo/aspires per month and were dissuaded to take any more booking! If a customer really wanted the figo then he/she had to wait 2+ months to get it!!
If ford at that time were happy with 25 cars per month for the Whole state of Goa, idk what production targets the were looking to achieve.

Just look at the way Tata is marketing its Tiago! knowing very well people run for miles on hearing the word Tata they have really provided an all round car that surely if successful will signal the death knell for the Figo.

Its time Ford Cuts its top management and reinvent the way they handle their dealers and marketing.
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Old 20th April 2016, 09:43   #9
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Default Re: Ford cuts production target at plant in Sanand, Gujarat by 50%

Ford made a mark in the industry with the Figo launch & then followed it up with Ecosport. Both of which were jaw dropping successes.

The all new Figo / Aspire again made waves for the design & awesome engine. Great design on the inside & out. I was honestly surprised that in my driving position (I'm 6'1") my son could sit behind me & he is 6'3" ! That is some really spacious cabin.

Ford really should look into the showroom operations if they want adequate numbers. Fortunately the workshops are doing well - well trained technical support & service heads.

Last edited by Ricky_63 : 20th April 2016 at 09:44.
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Old 20th April 2016, 12:42   #10
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Default Re: Ford cuts production target at plant in Sanand, Gujarat by 50%

If the news is true, that just sucks. The Figo & Aspire are amazing mass-market cars that do most things well.

Equally, I don't think Ford should have launched both of them within such a short gap. Rather, they should have been spaced out as Ford's management + dealership network simply doesn't have the bandwidth to handle so many launches together. The Endeavour also followed soon after, thus they had their hands full. Compare it to the Figo's launch in 2010 and the strong marketing push it had received. The Figo received 100% of Ford's attention at that time. It was a similar story with the EcoSport in 2013.

Another takeaway from the current situation is that Ford will have to sell world-class high quality products to survive in India. The EcoSport is the oldest Ford in India, yet it outsells all of the others combined. Similar case with the Endeavour which has received a strong response from the market. Ford is going to have to keep differentiating, and back that strategy up with truly global products. The EcoSport is still a competent compact SUV, superior to even the brand-new Vitara Brezza.

Quote:
Combined internal production targets for the two models were revised from an average 20,000 units a month to an average 10,800 units a month, sources said.
Seems to be an error in the article. They probably meant 'total production target', and not just for the two new models. There is no way on the planet that the Figo & Aspire would sell 20,000 / month.
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Old 20th April 2016, 13:49   #11
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Default Re: Ford cuts production target at plant in Sanand, Gujarat by 50%

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Originally Posted by GTO View Post
If the news is true, that just sucks. The Figo & Aspire are amazing mass-market cars that do most things well.
Doing most things well, is not enough when you are very late to the market (sub-4m) and not a household name.

Late entry is OK for market leaders like Maruti (ex: Brezza vs EcoSport) and Hyundai. But for companies like ford they need to have something disruptive like Kwid. Renault did an amazing job with Kwid in terms of design, features, price compared to competition (alto, eon etc...) and succeeded.

The day I saw Aspire in the showroom, I knew this was going to fail badly (no offense to owners). It's built to cost and late to market.
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Old 20th April 2016, 14:37   #12
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Default Re: Ford cuts production target at plant in Sanand, Gujarat by 50%

Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
Seems to be an error in the article. They probably meant 'total production target', and not just for the two new models. There is no way on the planet that the Figo & Aspire would sell 20,000 / month.
Please correct me if I am wrong, but indianautosblog.com mentions the same numbers for Figo siblings:

"When launched, Ford were targeting a monthly production rate at 20,000 units for both models, but reduced it to 10,800 when the demand was weak. Currently, the average production per month is around 6,500 units for both models. Ford even had to shut down production at its new plant in Sanand for a week in March, reportedly."
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Old 20th April 2016, 14:56   #13
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Default Re: Ford cuts production target at plant in Sanand, Gujarat by 50%

I visited MPL Showroom (Chennai) three weeks back to test drive Figo / Aspire. I TD'd Figo 1.2L variant. Provided all my details (Phone number / email ID) etc. Even after 3 weeks nobody called me and did a follow-up whether I'm looking at buying.

Comparing it with numerous calls we get everyday (for real estate, credit cards, etc..), I guess Ford is not interested in selling cars (or) the targets for the dealerships should be increased

- Ananth
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Old 20th April 2016, 15:06   #14
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Default Re: Ford cuts production target at plant in Sanand, Gujarat by 50%

Itís a pity to see this happening to a product so early into its lifecycle & to one which has had a glorious past. Has become a norm with Ford, hasnít it?

The previous gen Figo was a runaway success right from the day it was launched. Reason being, it had its USPs and was VFM. Subsequently, everyone was hopeful of killer pricing for the 1.5 Fiesta as well and they did hara-kiri & stickered it atrociously. A lot of people were anticipating a good competent car in the C+ segment, given what they had got in the Figo. But the new Fiesta in its first avatar just wasn't VFM.

Come a bit ahead & the market again gives Ford a good chance to regain momentum with the Ecosport. And boy, did it sell like hot cakes. Now again following its past trends, Ford decides to miss a beat & break the marathon with the new Figo & the Aspire. Like playing an alternate hide & seek game with the success of its products.


No doubt both are very capable cars. But where is the Ford DNA in either of them? I think the reason for their dismal numbers is right there when you compare the new Figo to the last one. It has actually lost a lot and in certain significant areas like build quality, cabin space, handling, overall looks & lack of features in the middle variants. This has brought them to the stage of these production volumes being cut.

The newer generation has actually gone backwards in a lot of areas, when it should have leaped forward with the times. The new diesel Figo simply blew me away with its performance. I loved it to the core. But, when one goes on to pay heed to other areas, things change quite a bit.

Look at the speedometer. It just doesnít cut for a car competing with other B segment hatches. Then the build quality, it is a significant dip from the last generation. It would definitely have been well tested for crash & protection, but that tinny feel every time you open & close the doors is like plummeting from the last generationís much appreciated build. Thatís where Ford lost to cash in on the wonderful image created by the last gen Figo.


Yes, the car has got 6 airbags, but still, it doesnít feel like a Ford anymore. Actually, the cost cutting is glaring across the car & thatís what keeping the customers at bay. The current Ford siblings then become another run of the mill cars from say a Maruti. Then, buying a Maruti makes more sense for a layman in this segment, which would be relatively easier to live with & not come with a burden of severe depreciation by the time one comes to upgrade.


The car has been marketed well, but apart from feature juggling, nothing much can be done to revive the numbers in this case. Iím afraid the new Figo would garner lesser price in the used car space as well.

And not to forget the supplier compensations which also come along with the news of the volumes being cut & so drastically in this case. Exports should be somewhat of a saving grace for Ford for a little time in the near future.
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Old 20th April 2016, 16:32   #15
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Pathetic Showroom Experience is what is really killing the Sales. Visited 4 different Dealers and only at 1 of them the experience was satisfactory. The other 3 didn't even bother to trouble a prospective customer despite spending 15 minutes in the showroom. Its really shocking what the owners or top managers of these businesses smoke that they don't notice such callous staff.

Infact the showroom experience is quite similar to few of the Tata showrooms and very rightly they deserve such poor numbers despite having some nice cars in the portfolio of late.

Last edited by ScorpMan : 20th April 2016 at 16:36.
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