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Old 30th May 2016, 15:09   #16
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Default re: Ford rolls out a 200-crore brand transformation campaign

I can't say why someone else should care about a Ford but I can describe my previous generation Figo experience.

I enjoy the car every day. It's build "Ford tough" (I am sure they added another layer specifically for Bangalore), has a relatively easy to drive engine (noisy tractor though!) and handles like a dream. I really wish there was more power but I'd also be motivated to do something relatively stupid if I had that. Hence, for a city car, it's a really great car.

I've driven a bunch of other cars, but the Figo has a better interior "feel" of space than others. Mind you, I got the car in 2012 and the "three-year itch" has already come. I am definitely at a loss to find a comparable car.

VW - already have one sedan and that's enough risk appetite for me
Hyundai - not a fan of their steering / handling - felt it was too bouncy
Maruti - the Baleno is the main contender at this point
Toyota / Honda - quite a light build for my taste

I am sure I'll keep this guy around for a while.

Now, what would I want Ford to do

1. They need to get a few more models into India. A full fledged sedan instead of trying to upsell the Aspire
2. Figure out a way to fit a model (Escape?) between their Ecosport and Endeavor line up. That's a big hollow that Creta and XUV are eating up
3. Reduce the crazy pricing on the Endeavour (34L fully loaded in Bangalore, I think)
4. Get more sales folks and test cars in their showroom on the weekend - it's a crazy market in each showroom during the weekend and often potential buyers end up in verbal spats over who got a better test drive etc.
5. When they launch a model, go all out. They are spending 200 crores today. If they had spent 50 crores more when they launched the Figo twins, I am sure it would have had a better impact. The launch was so drab and unnoticed.

Hope they get their act together soon.

Last edited by Mad Max : 30th May 2016 at 15:13. Reason: Addition
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Old 30th May 2016, 16:25   #17
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Default Re: Ford rolls out a 200-crore brand transformation campaign

I seriously feel this advertising blitz will not work for Ford. While a proper advertisement will highlight key features of a car, an interested buyer will always ask his social network about pros and cons of his shortlist. I personally own a Ford so when anyone asks me about that, my reply is: Product is great in terms of Driving/Safety/Comfort/Features etc. but for one day in a year, you have to feel disappointed with Ford and that day is annual servicing day of your car.

I have given my car for service few times and always came back disappointed due to pathetic service experience. Service engineers do the bare minimum and lots of ticks on the vehicle health card are made without even checking the parameters. There is also mis-selling of Dealer customized service which service advisor pushes by stating that I will get extra things serviced which are necessary but Ford hasn't covered those in their regular service package (I wonder why?). And then there will always be something not available (In my last service, they ran out of Engine Oil). And in the end, all I get is a customer care call from a Gurgaon Number who promises to "look into the issues" once I fill their online feedback form. This coupled with the fact that there isn't a single service station in the South Mumbai.

Ford should invest in some quality service stations which may be owned directly by Ford wherein quality engineers should be servicing Ford Cars with complete transparency on service charges and spares. They should set the bar high so that their dealers also strive to meet the improved service quality levels. I know for a fact that selling new car is a loss making proposition for the dealers (due to extremely low margins, inventory costs, financing costs, real estate etc) and its the service from where dealers earn the real bucks. I guess they should be compelled to deliver the bang as well by Ford.
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Old 30th May 2016, 20:28   #18
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Default Re: Ford rolls out a 200-crore brand transformation campaign

Based on experience, my thought is they need to get their sales act together.

I went to do a test drive of the Ecosport and the Aspire. The Ecosport test drive was made available quickly and I had a decent TD. When I went back and asked the price details, I was asked questions like, why do you need the titanium+ version, are you not confident of your driving etc. The Aspire diesel was not available for test drive and I specifically requested for them to call me when it is available. I have still not got the call and its almost 3 weeks.

Compare this with Nexa where I went and inquired and the sales person kept on following up with me for a test drive, asked my requirements, laid down the prices for various variants etc. The follow up needs to be better for Ford to make a dent in the market. Else the 200Cr is not going to see much ROI. Their cars are good (The Ecosport is fantastic, the rear space made me lean towards the S-Cross), but the sales needs to buck up. Maybe the other dealers in town are better, but all the dealerships need to be at the same level as they are the front end of the company
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Old 30th May 2016, 20:52   #19
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Default Re: Ford rolls out a 200-crore brand transformation campaign

I find a vast difference between the dealers within my city. But SAs from two of the dealers in Hyderabad were quite persistent and called me several times after my inquiry. They also arranged test drives for me and my friend (who went on to buy a Figo). They'd inform me of whatever offers were in effect at that time. Overall I was impressed with them.

I had to put off my buying decision for a few months but I still get calls from one of the SA who very politely asks if I'm ready to take a decision and when I tell him no, I cannot decide anything for the next 1-2 months, he promptly calls after 1-2 months

My brother has the first generation Figo and he's quite happy with the service experience too.

So, I cannot speak for everyone in Hyderabad, but I personally have had a good sales experience with Ford in my city.

Quote:
Originally Posted by arvind71181 View Post
Based on experience, my thought is they need to get their sales act together.

Maybe the other dealers in town are better, but all the dealerships need to be at the same level as they are the front end of the company
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Old 30th May 2016, 21:39   #20
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Default Re: Ford rolls out a 200-crore brand transformation campaign

The Figo and Aspire are both competent products and no slouch compared to competition. Ford really messed up the timing of the launch as they both got lost amidst heavy weight launches - Creta, S Cross and the Baleno. Also they lost the USP which defined Ford cars - Handling, IMO they should've retained their USP, after all a Ford should ride like F-O-R-D.

Ford further complicated things by launching the Aspire and Figo back to back without much breathing space to give enough importance each product deserved.

Handling multiple launches is not Ford's area of expertise, unlike MSIL. Ford should have launched them with enough time to concentrate on each product.

At last they woke up , Nevertheless this initiative should help Ford create brand recalls and get their products into the short list of potential customers. I hope the budget is put to good use.

All the best FORD
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Old 30th May 2016, 22:32   #21
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Default Re: Ford rolls out a 200-crore brand transformation campaign

What good is 200 crores if they do not have their portfolio extensive? And especially when the Figo twins have lost out on the so called "Ford tough" build and the favorite steering and a bit of handling. With just the Ecosport, how can they mint enough returns on the expenditure?

They could have kept the Classic a bit more time and they priced the new Fiesta wrong only to see it out of business. Is a sedan and entry level hatch coming up for them any sooner? Otherwise, give a mild upgrade to the build of the Figo twins, doors, windows and plastic stalks, and market them better.
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Old 30th May 2016, 22:53   #22
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Default Re: Ford rolls out a 200-crore brand transformation campaign

Quote:
Originally Posted by arvind71181 View Post
Based on experience, my thought is they need to get their sales act together.

I went to do a test drive of the Ecosport and the Aspire. The Ecosport test drive was made available quickly and I had a decent TD. When I went back and asked the price details, I was asked questions like, why do you need the titanium+ version, are you not confident of your driving etc.
What a stupid thing for the salesman to say! Does he not want you to buy the top end variant?

I agree with this assessment about Ford's issues in India. I was also fairly disappointed with the TD experience for the Figo. Regardless of whether you're an average Joe or an experienced motorhead, if someone isn't interested in selling you a car, it's pretty unlikely they'll be interested in providing good service after you've bought the car.
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Old 30th May 2016, 23:02   #23
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Default Re: Ford rolls out a 200-crore brand transformation campaign

I recently bought an Ecosport . And my experiences with Ford dealers was bad to say the least . They even lack the basic matters , don't follow up and seem a least interested lot

One of my friends was checking out an Aspire and he just dropped the plan post visit to dealer

Even direct inquiries to Ford are send to dealers wherein the sad experience continues

I had to go to a distant dealer from my place because they were responsive and i could buy the car , else i would have just dropped Ford and moved on

All these Ads and brand transformation will not be of any use unless they improve the sales teams and experiences at their dealers
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Old 30th May 2016, 23:20   #24
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Default Re: Ford rolls out a 200-crore brand transformation campaign

Sorry guys, I'll have to disagree with some of the comments here and Ford spending this 200 crores on 'brand transformation'.

Let me remind Ford that, under the same brand, the new Endeavour is a runaway success. A 30 lakh car, no less! Under the same Ford brand, the EcoSport was a success (remember the initial bookings & waiting periods??). And with the same Ford brand, the previous-gen Figo garnered remarkable volumes.

Quoting a related post of mine from the production cut thread:

Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
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.
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Old 31st May 2016, 08:27   #25
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Default Re: Ford rolls out a 200-crore brand transformation campaign

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Originally Posted by GTO View Post
Sorry guys, I'll have to disagree with some of the comments here and Ford spending this 200 crores on 'brand transformation'.

Let me remind Ford that, under the same brand, the new Endeavour is a runaway success. A 30 lakh car, no less! Under the same Ford brand, the EcoSport was a success (remember the initial bookings & waiting periods??). And with the same Ford brand, the previous-gen Figo garnered remarkable volumes.
So true! They can actually do better without really losing their identity – the new Figo twins IMO was a try (rather unsuccessful one) to be someone else – say a Hyundai or a Suzuki.

I think their One Ford strategy was a wonderful one; unfortunately they tried it in India with the over-priced Fiesta and that probably was the end of it, at least in India.

I would say, retain the brand identity and price it right, they can still bring in success stories like the Ecosport.
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Old 31st May 2016, 08:48   #26
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Default Re: Ford rolls out a 200-crore brand transformation campaign

Like most people have noted AND Ford too for a change , I think Ford should concentrate on the below


- Make Test drive vehicles available, you dont sell if you dont have vehicles to test drive!
- Spend that extra bit of money to get better Sales staff
- Ensure customer Service experience is awesome and he is made aware of the changes and the max quote is given before the service itself
- Don't lose your DNA. Great driving machines, tough build have been Ford's forte. Trying to compete with MAruti and Hyundai, Ford is losing it's soul
- Make the global cars available here
What my ideal Ford line up should be in India
Ford Figo (Hatch)
Ford Fiesta (Sports Hatch)
<Full spec Sedan>
Ford Ecosport (Small SUV)
<Medium SUV, large gap between Ecosport and Endy>
Ford Endeavour (Large SUV)
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Old 31st May 2016, 10:35   #27
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Default Re: Ford rolls out a 200-crore brand transformation campaign

Quote:
Originally Posted by LiveMint
“Figo is selling less than its predecessor. We started with 7,000-8,000 units a month. We came down to 1,200 a month. Today, my new Figo is doing less than that. Why is that? Nobody has an answer to that. Where are the people who used to buy the Figos?” asks an exasperated top official at Ford India, requesting anonymity.
I can answer why those customers went away from Ford. And I am quite sure many over here can as well. If I was offered a choice between driving a brand new Figo and a well maintained old generation Figo from Kochi to Munnar for a holiday, I will be very confused. And this clearly shows the problem.

Ideally the latest generation should have improved upon the old one. Ford did improve it but at the expense of dynamics. The way the new Figo twins drive and steer is unlike a Ford. The front end is really loose and the steering lacks agility, feel or directness. It won't make you grin while taking corners! Now, don't say its because of the EPS unit instead of a hydraulic steering! Just drive the 2014 Fiesta or the EcoSport or the new Endeavour. No one will miss a hydraulic unit on these machines.

The Diesel got loads of power but then most other cars in segment too is not deficient on power. Ford left out its strongest USP's on the Figo and the market responded. No amount of dilution to make the machines more mass market is going to fetch Ford new customers from MSIL or Hyundai. But the converse is true and it happened. Many prospective Ford customers who value driving dynamics and build just went away. If I choose a new i20 over the Figo, I ain't losing much in terms of dynamics and build but gains many other tangible and intangible things. Ford made it easy to beat themselves.

The other major issue is lacking a potent petrol engine. Ford should have localized the 1L EcoBoost and slapped that on the Figo twins. The market is coming towards petrol engines and this would have given Ford a strong USP. There aren't many potent sub 1.2L petrol engines in the market at present. There is the 1.2 TSI but VW has restricted it to the GT and its out of reach for many.

I think if Ford has many crores to spend, they should be spending a lion' share on fixing these issues and not just by paying those lucky marketing agencies.
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Old 31st May 2016, 14:35   #28
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Default Re: Ford rolls out a 200-crore brand transformation campaign

I believe DeetJohn has hit the nail on the head. Let me just say that the old Figo was the vehicle that got me hooked on to Ford and make me see the brand in a different light (me previously being a hard core Maruti fan). I still remember the day I tried my friends old figo tdci. It was a revelation to me that a car can handle so well and respond so beautifully. Coupled with the torquey zero lag 1.4 tdci, I was wooshing in and out of traffic gaps like a hooligan with a grin plastered on my face.

Man, that chassis handled so well, the steering was so responsive and the engine worked so good it was effortless in the city. And coupled with the great build quality, music system, the sound damping, and one of the best air conditioners in the segment, it was a great car. I would say that this very formula of great ride and handling was the greatest pull that Ford had had to a bring in customers(like me) from other brands and led me to be loyal to the brand going from Figo to the 2014 Fiesta (for me), and also buying the Ecosport for my parents.

It killed me a little when ford announced that they were stopping the Fiesta, the Classic(another great car) and the old Figo. It killed me a little more when I test drove the aspire. It was so un-ford like! I remember thinking "What have they done?". But even then I hoped against hope that Ford would have more success with this new formula. Doesn't seem to be the case now. Now folks like me have nothing to check in the ford stable and will be looking the S-cross/creta/duster/jetta way.

I hope Ford reads this thread and decides to go back to its roots and stick to it's Strengths. Ford need to realise that their USP is the ride and handling and it is the one thing which they should not compromise on. Bring in the fiesta hatch, bring back the fiesta sedan, and the Mondeo and maybe even the focus and focus sedans as a halo product. I believe there is a market for those kind of cars. Also bring back the One Ford strategy and launch these cars but take the time and effort to do the ground work i.e. parts localisation etc so that the fiesta debacle doesn't occur again for new products. Advertising and publicity only does so much if you don't have great products.

Last edited by Chuckster : 31st May 2016 at 14:38.
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Old 31st May 2016, 14:54   #29
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Default Re: Ford rolls out a 200-crore brand transformation campaign

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Originally Posted by Chuckster View Post
I hope Ford reads this thread and decides to go back to its roots and stick to it's Strengths. Ford need to realise that their USP is the ride and handling and it is the one thing which they should not compromise on. Bring in the fiesta hatch, bring back the fiesta sedan, and the Mondeo and maybe even the focus and focus sedans as a halo product. I believe there is a market for those kind of cars.
Enthusiasts are 1 in a 1000 and so are the sales figures of such cars on sale. Hence it makes no business sense per se to bring in the fiesta hatch etc while they are struggling to sell off the Figo twins which are very well specced and priced.

It is the Ford sales policies that is killing their products. The story that I heard about Wasan Ford being shut down was
Thin margins on sales
Lately, to push the sales of the Figo twins, they asked dealers to take in 2 of the Figo's for every Ecosport dispatch, which the dealers found difficult to deal with.

This is what I came to know from a known contact at Wasan when I was inquiring on discounts on Ford cars they had in stock.

Above two reasons were the basis of Wasan pulling out of its Ford dealership. But if you think about it, it is quite a novel way to kill a well selling product in a pursuit to sell the low selling one's.
Ideal would have been to drop that condition of 2 figo's per Ecosport and increase dealer margin a little for them to play around with the discounts and also keep some with themselves as an incentive for pushing the unpopular products.
At present, they don't have much room for negotiations apart from the discounts forwarded by Ford.

Last edited by vinit.merchant : 31st May 2016 at 14:59.
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Old 31st May 2016, 15:10   #30
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Default Re: Ford rolls out a 200-crore brand transformation campaign

It is good that Ford is spending money on rebranding. At some point of time 2 years back, Ford was stuck in a rut with a failed Fiesta and a goodbye Classic. It should have spent this 200Cr 2 years back when it launched the Ecosport. Riding on the success of Figo, it would have been a good time to boost their brand.

The problem they have now is multi fold.

1. Product portfolio is whittled down to Figo, Aspire and Endeavour. 3 vehicles between and 8 lakh to a 34 lakh bracket seems pitiful. No small car for the first timers to experience the Ford family.
I seriously wish they would come up with a CUV between the Ecosport and the Endeavour and that would be sweet for hatchbackers wanting to move to the next level.If they have one, i would have jumped already. The Blue Oval has its own charm

2. A.S.S - Seems that service is bad and prohibitive. I dont think so. I remember having picked up the Gen 1 Fusion and falling in love with the product and the Service in 2006. The same engineer took care of my vehicle for the next 6 years at Metro Ford and no hassles on service and spares. Compared to that, both my Wagon R and Storme have eaten through 3 different SA in the same outlet and they are never the same. They need to work on rebranding their service. Quick service, Mobile Service, Regular Service etc etc.
3. Social Connect - Not sure if they have platforms like S.O.U.L. But it would do wonders to get something similar so that people can hear first time success stories. There are far and few in number and Social Media seems to spend more time on complaints.
i already see them advertising big time on TV with the Ecosport and their newer adds are quite eye pleasing
Waiting to get back into the Ford family once more
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