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Old 1st August 2017, 00:24   #16
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Default re: Ford CFO comments on the company's Indian operations

There has been a shakeup at Global HQ recently as all of us know about what happened to Mark Fields. Yes, there is a review of Ford's India presence and it may well be that Ford withdraws from India. However, that may not include the huge IT and back office operations in India. Ford employs more people (5000+) in its IT and back office operations in India than in the manufacturing plants and that may very well continue.
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Old 1st August 2017, 05:14   #17
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Default re: Ford CFO comments on the company's Indian operations

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Originally Posted by chennai-indian View Post
There has been a shakeup at Global HQ recently as all of us know about what happened to Mark Fields. Yes, there is a review of Ford's India presence and it may well be that Ford withdraws from India. However, that may not include the huge IT and back office operations in India. Ford employs more people (5000+) in its IT and back office operations in India than in the manufacturing plants and that may very well continue.
This is exactly why people go for Toyota in India. Even till the early part of this year, GM showed no signs of an exit. People bought Trailblazers for close to 30 lakhs. Now the resale value is questionable, service support is close to non-existent. If a company can consider all options, it will most likely choose the easiest one. Remember Jaguar and Land Rover was sold by Ford and now it is owned by Tata.

Their factory in Gujarat is huge (near my house ) and it won't be easy for them to walk away. Most likely, they'd continue the GM way.

I hope the home-grown manufacturers benefit from the void that will be left behind by the possible departure. Their current products for the mass market lack a strong fan following, except the EcoSport. Also (apologies for the generalization), the effort that you have to make to convince an Indian buyer about a brand is very high compared to the return. It is not that Ford did not try advertising- the Aspire advertisement involving a skeptic trying to find faults was one of the best we have seen in recent times. The problem is, the mass market in India follows a herd. They will buy what their colleagues buy or their relatives suggest. Their relatives behave the same way- and thus it goes on. Toyota, Honda, VW, Hyundai are (unfortunately) perceived to be premium brands while accomplished products from Ford are ignored.
In a way, Ford suffers from the same problems like Tata. Fortunately, Tata has a very radical design philosophy now that forces even the most vociferous critics to notice the products. No one will miss a Tigor on the road. However, it is not so difficult to miss an Aspire or a Figo.

If they do invest more, it has to be for the Ecosport which is the only model that can sustain the company since it is superior to the Brezza and the only competition so far is the upcoming Nexon.
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Old 1st August 2017, 08:24   #18
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Default re: Ford CFO comments on the company's Indian operations

Like what @CD said earlier, the way to look at it, is increase manufacturing presence in other nations to offset production costs? The presence in India context may be more to do with manufacture and export context as well.

Even I see it more positive than negative. If Ecosport is running to packed capacity for export (please correct if I am wrong, but that's what I think is the case today); why would they withdraw ?
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Old 1st August 2017, 08:35   #19
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Default re: Ford CFO comments on the company's Indian operations

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Originally Posted by ampere View Post
If Ecosport is running to packed capacity for export (please correct if I am wrong, but that's what I think is the case today); why would they withdraw ?
Ford has earlier in the year decided to build the EcoSport for Europe in Romania thus ending its export from India to EU.
Quote:
Ford Motor said it will recruit nearly 1,000 people as it prepares to build its EcoSport subcompact SUV in Romania for European markets, ending imports from India.
So the Chennai facility will cater for domestic Indian sales and for other export markets (?)

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The Craiova-built EcoSport will be sold across Europe except Russia, while Ford's Chennai plant will continue to build the EcoSport for domestic Indian sales and for other export markets
Link
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Old 1st August 2017, 10:10   #20
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Default re: Ford CFO comments on the company's Indian operations

Everything on the table - hope it includes the head of the idiot who decided not to bring their Focus, Escape and other good cars around the world to India.

Their product portfolio is truncated in the mid-segment. They have their base segment covered with Figo /Aspire and then the next vehicle over is the Ecosport, an urban SUV (no sedan in this segment) and from there, it's a long road to the pricey Endeavour. If you want customers to stay in your showroom, you gotta provide options or have a premium brand image. Neither of which Ford has.

My Figo completed 5 years this June and it's running like a gem. While I really want an automatic now (blame Blr), I am finding it hard to let go of the car.

I really hope they stay and not do another GM.

I'm sure the end result of this exercise would be to launch the "all new Ford Mustang @ 90L". </sarcasm>
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Old 1st August 2017, 11:51   #21
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Default Re: Ford CFO comments on the company's Indian operations

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Originally Posted by CrAzY dRiVeR View Post
Am I the only one who thinks his words are actually positive rather than negative, and is being taken out of context?
. What a clickbait title the referenced news article has; have changed our thread title.

He's clearly said they think India will become a Top 3 market in the world. Ford is also smart enough to realise they have products that have clicked (EcoSport, Endeavour). Neither of them is cheap. What they need to do is continue the same product strategy & look for differentiators + market segments that are less crowded. Stop trying to fight Maruti with products that are similar to Maruti - you'll never succeed (I'm talking to you, Mr. New Ford Figo).

With respect to the Indian operations, the only thing Ford & GM have in common is that their roots are in America. In every other area - be it products, dealer network, customer satisfaction etc. - Ford has outclassed GM. Ford also has a far stronger brand in India than Chevrolet ever did. Heck, they have probably sold more Rs. 80 lakh Mustangs than Chevrolet did Rs. 30 lakh Trailblazers.

Bottomline = I am 100% sure that Ford will only strengthen their operations in India.

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Originally Posted by Dry Ice View Post
Maybe they should look at Skoda for inspiration. Look at for how long they have been with less than 1% market share, and still not quitting.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mad Max View Post
Everything on the table - hope it includes the head of the idiot who decided not to bring their Focus, Escape and other good cars around the world to India.
.

Last edited by GTO : 1st August 2017 at 11:53.
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Old 1st August 2017, 12:38   #22
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Default Re: Ford CFO comments on the company's Indian operations

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Originally Posted by Mad Max View Post
Everything on the table - hope it includes the head of the idiot who decided not to bring their Focus, Escape and other good cars around the world to India.

Their product portfolio is truncated in the mid-segment. They have their base segment covered with Figo /Aspire and then the next vehicle over is the Ecosport, an urban SUV (no sedan in this segment) and from there, it's a long road to the pricey Endeavour. If you want customers to stay in your showroom, you gotta provide options or have a premium brand image. Neither of which Ford has.
This is precisely what Ford needs to do, above all else.

It has nothing to compete with the Baleno/Elite i20 or the S-Cross/i20 Active or the City/Verna, and the lone SUV it sells in India is a compact model that will seldom appeal to someone who’s in the market for a vehicle like the Creta (though it is a worthy contender for the Vitara Brezza).

Aspire, EcoSport and Figo form a formidable portfolio, and Ford would do well to grow it. It should bring the Escape, Focus and Fusion to India, to start with, and then follow it up with a crossover based on the Focus, to take on the i20 Active and its ilk.

I doubt that it has any of that in the works though.
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Old 1st August 2017, 13:07   #23
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Default Re: Ford CFO comments on the company's Indian operations

I hope they stay. I am more worried about the global R&D centre they were going to setup in Chennai. It would create more IT jobs with around 5K crore investment. I really hope they go ahead with the centre. As per earlier plans it would be ready by 2019.
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Old 1st August 2017, 14:36   #24
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Default Re: Ford CFO comments on the company's Indian operations

This puts me in a fix. I have been waiting for the new Ecosport for 10 months now, eager to buy it, but after reading the thread and the article, I'm just wondering whether its worth risking my investment or rather just go for the top-end Nexon!
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Old 1st August 2017, 15:02   #25
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Default Re: Ford CFO comments on the company's Indian operations

I doubt Ford would exit India. They have a much stronger brand equity than GM brands like Opel and Chevrolet did. Their products for India have also been well thought out unlike GM whose latch batch of launches was based on - "If it worked in China, it will work in India" kind of philosophy. Also competition is needed to keep Suzuki on its toes. Would Suzuki have bothered with a Brezza if there was no EcoSport?
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Old 1st August 2017, 15:53   #26
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Default Re: Ford CFO comments on the company's Indian operations

I hope the heads of these companies also know which segments are doing great in India. Considering India as top 3 market for autos is not enough. The segments that have the highest sales are different and they need to cater to those segments. Or they need to kick start a new segment.
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Old 1st August 2017, 18:15   #27
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Default Re: Ford CFO comments on the company's Indian operations

From the article, two things are quite obvious.. the comment "everything's on the table" here might mean that all the required things will be planned and implemented as far as improving sales in India goes. It also speaks of 100 days time to review the global situation.

Anything apart from the above can be only an assumption, as of now it seems to me that they will try their best to lift the sales in India and improve their image simultaneously while at it.. only after a year or so will any ramp-down or scale-up of operations will even come into question based on sales.

G.M had low sales for far too long in India, even then I'd say they stayed put for atleast 24 months longer, despite sales going lower and lower. Ford is nowhere in that situation and at the present position they might take a call only if sales go down drastically and consistently for 3 years+, no chance for that.. Ford has a thick fan-base unlike G.M and its only going up. They may not crack the top 3 anytime soon though.
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Old 1st August 2017, 18:37   #28
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Default Re: Ford CFO comments on the company's Indian operations

Ford is certainly doing well in india financially. Their sales and even service is good. Their products are good. There may be holes in their lineup namely D segment, but the balance is quite good.
They may be looking at an exit for non economical reasons. If they anticipate that manufacturing in the US is going to be better, or if they feel that the financial scenario in india is unstable, etc, they may quit.
Remember Bosch planning to quit India after 50+ years because they were unhappy to pay so much bribes in Bangalore?
With demonetization, GST, future legislations, Ford may be wary to stay in India. Auto companies have to think about 10 years in advance. Their product development cycle is >5 years. Look at the rules being formed. Driverless cars will not be encouraged, electric cars are not encouraged with tax sops, Safety means mandating seatbelt and airbags (nothing about vehicle quality, good tires, crumple zones, pedestrian education), etc.
As a customer, I want Ford to stay, but I think that Maruti, Tata or Reliance car will be the safest bet.

Last edited by wildsdi5530 : 1st August 2017 at 18:43. Reason: additional point
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Old 1st August 2017, 19:18   #29
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Default Re: Ford CFO comments on the company's Indian operations

All cards on the table means everything will be under scrutiny, nothing will be off-limits. It could go either way. They could either strengthen their presence, by bringing in innovative products that wont compete directly with the market behemoth or go the GM way. It's up to Ford's country heads to showcase a great strategy, and show the way.

Honestly, the Figo Sports Series is unlike any in the country. I really like these upgrades and makes for a great case. Wish they were launched earlier in the product cycle. There are gaps though. The Ecosport is their best seller and they must concentrate on it. Bring in more products in the affordable SUV space, because that's their strength. The automatic doesn't come with all the bells and whistles and there's no pop up screen, why?. Why is there no diesel automatic? Or even a 4X4? Look for gaps guys.

The car doesn't look dated at all and there is no need to bring in the face lift. It needs a slightly wider rear bench. Might need new colours. Just make it an unbeatable value proposition.

At the dealer level the sales staff are unenthusiastic. The guy wasted 30 minutes of my time explaining features on a tablet, something I already knew, without even having a test drive car on hand. It was so irritating. Their exchange schemes are just for the heck of it, and are not tempting. There is no real drive to close the deal.
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Old 1st August 2017, 21:07   #30
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Default Re: Ford CFO comments on the company's Indian operations

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Originally Posted by invidious View Post
I doubt Ford would exit India. They have a much stronger brand equity than GM brands like Opel and Chevrolet did.


Also competition is needed to keep Suzuki on its toes. Would Suzuki have bothered with a Brezza if there was no EcoSport?

I also think the same way. Most probably Ford will only strengthen their product line up. I hope they focus on the segments where they are strong elsewhere in the world, rather than competing with Maruti.
On a second thought, if at all Ford happens to leave India, I think there will be a few more to follow them soon.
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