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Old 1st August 2017, 22:26   #31
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Default Re: Ford CFO comments on the company's Indian operations

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Originally Posted by Sebring View Post
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.

...
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.
True but the face-lift will address some shortcomings like adding more bells and whistles and the much famed "touch screen". And you're right in the looking for gaps, that's the key to success if you want to beat Maruti.

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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.
I'd say they need to set common standards for all dealerships. The experience currently varies so much from dealer to dealer. I had registered interest at 2 dealers. One has a fab salesman, who followed up with me for months after I talked to him. I'd tell him to call after 2 months and exactly 2 months later, bang! I'd get his call just like clockwork. The other dealership didn't even call me a week later. The Hyderabad dealers are better in this matter. I've heard horrible things about the Vizag dealership. They are the only one in town there, giving rise to Skoda-esque behavior. To correct this they should get feedback independently. Honda customer care for e.g. calls the customers and checks how their dealership experience was.

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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?
...
Why would they exit when the strongly believe this is the third biggest market in the future, and that they have a stronger position than GM?

Looks like me like they are trying to figure out an action plan to revive their Indian arm.
Definitely. It definitely will result in evaluating the current strategy and building a new one. If it results in them realizing that they cannot get anywhere by copying Maruti, that will be good. I hope it results in bringing newer, esp. European designed products where Ford has a distinct strength over others.

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Originally Posted by anjan_c2007 View Post
To start with, the Escort had an under powered petrol engine. The spares were prohibitively costly.
...
The Ecosport took off very well but the sales have stagnated lately. There are no noticeable efforts to prop up the sales with any refreshed model and so on.
That should be out soon:

http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/indian...ing-india.html (The 2017 Ford EcoSport Facelift caught testing in India)

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The newer Figo and Aspire are again good cars but the team Ford's laid back attitude is quite apparent. These cars are not being bought by the average buyers, who prefer the Marutis, Hyundais and Hondas.
Ford or any other manufacturer will never do well in India by copying Maruti. All the cars that have succeeded are those that bring something unique and distinct from Maruti. Like you've mentioned below, they should focus on their strengths. But efforts to reduce service costs and spare prices are commendable.

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The Endeavour, was never a good seller. There are many reasons which have been discussed elsewhere in many threads.
With their solidly built cars, they need to have focussed on the build quality,safety and reliability to win over those loyal to the Japanese and Korean brands.
Endeavor does decently well for its segment. Fortuner is more of an exception. (Off topic: I think fueled more by political wannabes. )
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We only hope that Ford stays back in India which is destined to be and for a long term remain among the top five markets for cars.
Ford needs to have proper products, a proper marketing team and market spares at the most affordable costs. The sales and service centres need to be more customer centric.
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Originally Posted by Nissan1180 View Post
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.
They might have not shown any signs but no product of GM was selling for months before they made the decision. If you read the comments on our monthly sales threads, you'll see people commenting on why don't they exit already. GM sales one year back (Jun'16) for e.g. were 1951. Ford sold 1882 Aspires in Jun'17, and that is not its highest selling product.

Toyota is similar to Ford in the sense that it has succeeded only where they had no competition for a long time. Toyota has only Innova and Fortuner that are bestsellers and they failed miserably to crack the market with other products. If you consider the total sales of the segment, Endeavor sells quite decently. Although the next month sales will make the post-GST impact clear on both Fortuner and Endeavor.

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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.
...
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.
What is common between Ford and Tata was that they didn't update their products in time and in line with market demands. Ford, however, never had such a steep fall as Tata. They initially had the Figo and Fiesta, then the Ecosport, which is still a strong seller and about to be face-lifted. Tata was much stronger to start with. The amount of Brand perception and market share that it lost was tremendous till they came up with Tiago.

Apart from advertising it is the value proposition. What do you get in this car that you don't in the competition? That is the question that determines sales for all brands non-Maruti IMO.

Last edited by jetti : 1st August 2017 at 22:27.
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Old 2nd August 2017, 09:11   #32
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Default Re: Ford CFO comments on the company's Indian operations

Looks like things are looking up for Ford in India. No reason for them to quit.

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If anything, this could be a meeting of heads to devise a more aggressive strategy.
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Old 2nd August 2017, 11:03   #33
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Default Re: Ford CFO comments on the company's Indian operations

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Originally Posted by srishiva View Post
The segments that have the highest sales are different and they need to cater to those segments.
As things stand today, you can't fight Maruti or Hyundai with products & pricing that are similar to Maruti & Hyundai. Their reputation and sales + marketing machinery will slaughter you. The two are scarily aggressive & control 70% of the market. It's like something I read recently on Flipkart's situation; Flipkart cannot beat Amazon on funding or technology or operational efficiency - it's going to have to find other core competencies. What happened to Snapdeal? They've recently announced yet another pivot.

Consider all the non-Maruti & non-Hyundai successes of the last 5 years. All those cars have offered irresistible USPs (e.g. Kwid) or entered segments where the two giants were weak. A lame brand like Chevrolet enjoyed immense success with the Cruze in its first 3 years or so of production. The Cruze had power, features, styling & pricing in its favour (Maruti & Hyundai didn't really have competitive alternatives). Why was the Duster so popular? First-mover advantage - there was nothing like it. But what happened to its sales once everyone arrived in town?

I'm not saying Ford shouldn't offer budget hatchbacks or compact sedans. They should. But:

1. Their compact sedan should offer something 'more' or something 'different'. As things stand today, the 2017 Dzire has totally murdered whatever was left of the Aspire.

2. They should continue exploiting other segments. I again bring up the EcoSport's & Endeavour's success. Going further on this, I would strongly recommend Ford to bring in a solid premium hatchback, sitting above the Figo. I also think they should bring an SUV between the EcoSport & Endeavour - lots of room there.

Last edited by GTO : 2nd August 2017 at 11:09.
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Old 2nd August 2017, 11:21   #34
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Default Re: Ford CFO comments on the company's Indian operations

What I don't understand is why the Ford management is sending out these public messages which can be misread or instill fear in buyers and do more damage. Shouldn't they be careful in what they say publicly so existing customers and prospective don't panic thereby doing more irreversible damage.
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Old 2nd August 2017, 11:33   #35
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Default Re: Ford CFO comments on the company's Indian operations

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Originally Posted by GTO View Post
I'm not saying Ford shouldn't offer budget hatchbacks or compact sedans. They should. But:

1. Their compact sedan should offer something 'more' or something 'different'. As things stand today, the 2017 Dzire has totally murdered whatever was left of the Aspire.

2. They should continue exploiting other segments. I again bring up the EcoSport's & Endeavour's success. Going further on this, I would strongly recommend Ford to bring in a solid premium hatchback, sitting above the Figo. I also think they should bring an SUV between the EcoSport & Endeavour - lots of room there.
It is confounding that the new generation Figo, a better all rounder than the previous generation, could not taste success while the latter could.

There is room for the Kuga. Fiat saw the gap and brought the Compass, but Ford seems to be sleeping.
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Old 2nd August 2017, 11:35   #36
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Default Re: Ford CFO comments on the company's Indian operations

The phrase "everything is on the table" is the corporate way of saying that they are evaluating all options especially when "closing down" is also amongst them.

An extract from my earlier post on "Should Ford bring in the Fiesta" is probably relevant here:


"Should Ford bring in the new Fiesta?

From my perspective: Yes, Yes, Yes!!


Should Ford bring in the new Fiesta?

From FORD's perspective: NEVER!!

The potential customer base for the Fiesta in India comprises mostly enthusiasts who get excited at the thought of performance / good handling cars and then go out and buy a Hyundai Creta or a Swift Dzire because the back seat of the Fiesta won't accomodate all the uncles, aunts, neighbors and their kids for the Saturday evening drive to the mall.

True blue Fords have a lot of investment sunk into suspension and handling - areas that substantially increase the price of the car but cannot be seen or touched unlike a sun roof or touch screen ICE.

For the traditional customer at this price range he needs to touch and feel something if he has to pay for it and so handling and suspension are out as he and his neighbour can't see it. Ask Hyundai and they'll tell you what makes their cars so successful in India.

Take a look at the S Cross 1.6 - even on this forum only a handful have bought it and the majority have gone with the 1.3 either for reasons of cost or to play safe with a trusted engine etc. So why should Ford even attempt to bring in a Fiesta ?

Because a few enthusiasts get excited about it even though they won't eventually but it ?

Let's face it - it isn't going to happen.

It would probably take the Indian market another 5 years to mature enough to buying Ford Fiesta's until then it doesn't make sense for Ford to bring in the car.

Additionally, with its current American way of doing business in third world countries that lack a certain savvy to succeed, it's only a matter of time that Ford gets tired of doing business in India.

In fact, Ford is still testing the waters in India after 20 years!! - that's why it's throwing crumbs (read Mustang) and some half baked models (New Figo and Aspire) to find out what will really succeed in India!!


Any company that can launch a car like the Global Fiesta without an advertisement campaign worth mentioning, get its price positioning wrong and discontinue the model so quickly cannot survive for long in India or any similar market.

And although you and I wouldn't like to hear this - it probably is just a matter of time before Ford goes the GM way.


Very sad."

Last edited by AMG Power : 2nd August 2017 at 11:37.
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Old 2nd August 2017, 12:13   #37
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Default Re: Ford CFO comments on the company's Indian operations

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Originally Posted by Vid6639 View Post
What I don't understand is why the Ford management is sending out these public messages which can be misread or instill fear in buyers and do more damage.
Agreed. And equally, the media should report responsibly. Manufacturers say something, but the media intentionally twists the statement to get more clicks. I've seen it firsthand.

Reporter: Is there any chance of bringing the Ferrari Enzo to India?

Ferrari CEO: We might bring it, we might not bring it. Nothing is decided (meaning, we haven't even thought about it).

1 hour later, article goes live with the headline "Ferrari might bring Enzo to India" .

Quote:
Originally Posted by civic-sense View Post
It is confounding that the new generation Figo, a better all rounder than the previous generation, could not taste success while the latter could.
One reason = competition. The hatchback space 7 years back was far less crowded.
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Old 2nd August 2017, 12:43   #38
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Default Re: Ford CFO comments on the company's Indian operations

Seeing the market share of Ford [in India], I honestly think, they should stick around. They should bring a good sedan and a CUV/SUV or whatever in the 14/18L price bracket. I still can't get over as to how beautiful the Mondeo looked. The Ghia trim was rich. And a real good hatch for ~4L. Something tall and solid which would be practical.

When smaller players like Nissan/Fiat/Skoda can sustain, why not Ford?

OT: But I was amazed as to how many worthy products both Ford & Nissan have for their global line up. Wish they get serious and launch them.
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Old 2nd August 2017, 13:17   #39
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Default Re: Ford CFO comments on the company's Indian operations

While I'd certainly want Ford to continue and work on presenting a stronger portfolio, we might have to be open to the possibility of Ford quitting.

Here's what the June sales look like w.r.t. manufacturer market share:

Maruti: 51%
Hyundai: 17
M&M: 8
TaMo: 6
Honda: 5

Just look at the sheer dominance by Maruti and even Hyundai.

Given such a tremendously skewed market where even global power houses such as Honda and Toyota have <5% market share, there's barely any motivation for them to bring something to India.

What makes the whole thing even worse for them is, India is one of the handful RHD markets. So, that's additional R&D costs, in a situation where actual sales might not reach break-even numbers.

Add to that, a FE conscious majority and negligible enthusiasts population.

You can't really fault Ford a lot.

Sure, one might wonder if they can't pull off a Hyundai. But then, neither of the Honda-Toyota-Ford-GM are even remotely as vested and dedicated as Hyundai has been.

Plus, Hyundai pulled it off not just in India but North America as well.

Sheer perseverance.

Ford does make superb products, they just need to work on everything around it.

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Originally Posted by GTO View Post
2. They should continue exploiting other segments. I again bring up the EcoSport's & Endeavour's success. Going further on this, I would strongly recommend Ford to bring in a solid premium hatchback, sitting above the Figo. I also think they should bring an SUV between the EcoSport & Endeavour - lots of room there.
The reality is, they can probably create a VFM product through very niche positioning but Maruti can easily bulldog their way in it and become the segment leader.

In existing segments, Maruti and Hyundai have clobbered competition. Save for Toyota in two segments.

Maruti's tangible and intangible might is such that any "early-mover" advantage that others might have will be very short-lived.

Last edited by libranof1987 : 2nd August 2017 at 13:20.
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Old 2nd August 2017, 13:41   #40
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Default Re: Ford CFO comments on the company's Indian operations

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Originally Posted by Vid6639 View Post
What I don't understand is why the Ford management is sending out these public messages which can be misread or instill fear in buyers and do more damage.
May be there is a strategy there...

Ford: We are going to make a big announcement...

Media and car forums go crazy!

Media1: May be they are doing X.
Media2: May be they are doing Y.
Media3: May be they are doing Z.
Carforum1: May be they are doing A.
Carforum2: May be they are doing B.
Carforum3: May be they are doing C.

Ford: <Hmm, of all the ideas from the media and car forums, we like the idea B> OK, here it is... we are doing B.
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Old 2nd August 2017, 15:26   #41
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Default Re: Ford CFO comments on the company's Indian operations

Ford is here to stay.

I would like to narrate some points here:-

1. We all know that the launch of new Ecosport is round the corner, with good amount changes as compared to the current generation vehicle.
If a company is willing to exit why would they plan to launch a new product in India with media making so much of hype for the much awaited launch.

GM launched the Trailblazer around October 2015 in India, ever since that launch they did not launch any new product, instead ended up discontinuing Enjoy and Sail HB before they ended complete operations.

We had seen the new Essentia from Chevy a prospect launch before they ended up their operations, but they were indeed meant for exports only and were just showcased as prospect launches for India. Deep down inside Chevy might be well aware of the fact that the Essentia will not make it to India.


2. In a couple of months a dealer will not have provision to order current Ecosport from OE, that provision is available with the rest of Ford products. It means they are coming up with the new Ecosport anytime soon. Confirmed by a dealership person.

Their is a rare possibility of Ford discontinuing the Ecosport, on the unavailability to order, as currently Ecosport is their highest selling vehicle.


3. Ford has been consistently selling decent number of Ecosport, Aspire, Endeavor as compared to cars sold by GM in India.

July 2017 domestic wholesale figures:-

Figo- 931
Aspire- 2074
Ecosport-4375
Endeavor- 1030
Mustang-8

M-O-M growth stands at 36.9% & Y-O-Y growth stands at 18.97% for July 2017.


4. They have been able to maintain close to 3% market share in India from quite a long time, unlike GM which has a steady falling market share in India.

Regards

Car's Paradise

Last edited by Car's Paradise : 2nd August 2017 at 15:52.
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Old 2nd August 2017, 15:58   #42
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Default Re: Ford CFO comments on the company's Indian operations

What i find funny is that when a small auto maker like Suzuki with tiny R&D spend (acompared to players like Ford) is able to launch new products frequently, what is stopping the likes of Ford ? They are around for couple of decades now in india and the brand does have stronger connect as compared to say Chevy.

Yet, they only have a Hatch/sub-4m sedan and SUV/ and then cars costing over 30 Lakhs, each having worthy competitors which eat up bulk of the segment share.
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Old 2nd August 2017, 16:05   #43
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Default Re: Ford CFO comments on the company's Indian operations

What a difficult market to crack India is!

Lower and mid-lower segment is completely dominated by MS and Hyundai; higher segments are owned by germans (Audis and Mercs and BMWs). There is a very little space for others to play with.

Mahindra pretty much owns the cheap/affordable SUV category currently, though here might be an opening for Ford (and Tata).

With Ciaz a sucess, one more category has been breached and pocketed by MS. Whatever remaining (read:city) would be kicked out by new Verna (unless Honda goes back to the "real" city underpinnings). Again, I believe, this category is another one where Ford can make a mark (even can become a market leader) if it brings a powerful sedan (a proper one, not a stripped down version for selling in "cheap" loving India).

Ecosport is one vehicle they should go all out to defend the territory that ford have carved out. The car beautifully dove-tails to their image of a robust, powerful yet affordable car maker. Perceived luxury (hyundai forte) or penny-rich affordability (MS forte) is out of reach for ford. More than MS, they should try targeting Mahindra (in affordable SUV segment) and Toyota in MUV/big SUV segment.
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Old 2nd August 2017, 17:02   #44
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On top of all points mentioned, Ford spent considerable time, money and effort to launch their captive NBFC in India 2 yrs back. ( Ford credit ). I doubt incorporating an NBFC was done without thinking through a long term strategy. Having said which, the American style of management is extremely brutal and can result in some extreme decisions as well.
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Old 2nd August 2017, 17:16   #45
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Default Re: Ford CFO comments on the company's Indian operations

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Originally Posted by rajshenoy View Post
What i find funny is that when a small auto maker like Suzuki with tiny R&D spend (acompared to players like Ford) is able to launch new products frequently, what is stopping the likes of Ford ? They are around for couple of decades now in india and the brand does have stronger connect as compared to say Chevy.

Yet, they only have a Hatch/sub-4m sedan and SUV/ and then cars costing over 30 Lakhs, each having worthy competitors which eat up bulk of the segment share.
Because Suzuki sells a majority of its cars in India and Japan unlike other brands like VW and Ford who have a strong presence all over the world. Suzuki now seems to have accepted that they can't beat the giants in the west so they would focus on cheap cars with poort safety rating but low price and a lot of features (Baleno). Bottom line is that Suzuki now develops cars with India in mind but but a large car maker like Ford needs to make a world car.
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