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Old 26th August 2016, 11:43   #1
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Default Ford invests Rs. 160 crore in Zoomcar

Ford has invested Rs. 160 crore in self-drive car rental start-up - Zoomcar. Ford Motor Company's subsidiary, Ford Smart Mobility, led Zoomcar's Series B funding round that helped the start-up raise $24 million. Zoomcar's existing investors Sequoia Capital, Nokia Growth Partners and Empire Angels also participated in the investment round.

Ford Smart Mobility was formed in March this year in order to focus on the rapidly changing transportation technologies. It is a part of Ford's long-term goal to convert itself into a mobility company, rather than a simple car manufacturing firm. The aforementioned Zoomcar funding is Ford Smart Mobility's first investment in India.

Zoomcar, which was founded in 2012, had earlier raised $21 million in two rounds between October 2014 and July 2015. With the Series B round announcement, the overall funding raised by the start-up has gone up to $45 million. Zoomcar's current market valuation hasn't yet been revealed.

Source: LiveMint

Ford invests Rs. 160 crore in Zoomcar-fordcarsharing_07.jpg

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Last edited by dZired : 26th August 2016 at 11:47.
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Old 26th August 2016, 15:25   #2
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Default Re: Ford invests Rs. 160 crore in Zoomcar

Thanks for sharing.

Now I will look forward to seeing already depleted fleet in a sad state replaced by New Gen Figos, Aspires & EcoSport.

Last edited by GTO : 26th August 2016 at 15:59. Reason: Typos
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Old 26th August 2016, 15:46   #3
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Default Re: Ford invests Rs. 160 crore in Zoomcar

Isn't this an interesting development!

On one hand, manufacturers such as Tata and Maruti Suzuki (for DZire) cringe when their cars are used by taxi/fleet operators, so much so that they wouldn't allow yellow plate registeration for some cars.

On the other, Ford is funding a rental agency!

A BIG, BIG difference of course is that a car via Zoomcar is self-driven, not exactly a "taxi".

Perception of a particular car as a taxi has greatly affected sales of that car to private buyers. If some part of this deal involves Ford as a preferred supplier of vehicles, I hope Ford has done its homework well in understanding how seeing majority of Zoomcar vehicles as Fords will affect sales to private buyers.

From personal experience: I once rented an EcoSport for the weekend; loved the car, and when I was in the market for one in that segment, already knew how perfectly it fit my bill. But downside? Given the many no. of Mars Red samples in Zoomcar livery, I was put off by an otherwise good colour.
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Old 26th August 2016, 16:07   #4
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Default Re: Ford invests Rs. 160 crore in Zoomcar

Nice! That's quite a validation of Zoomcar's business and the way they run things. Ford must have done a lot of diligence before investing big bucks in the company.

We've heard of a lot of car companies investing in self-drive rental companies, but this is the first time we're seeing such action in India. Also the first time that the American giant has invested in a 3rd-party company here. A good way for Ford to increase sales of its slow sellers. And why not? Will also expose customers to the competent new Fords. The EcoSport does drive well, while the Aspire's 1.5L TDCi is a lovely engine.

Ford must really like Zoom. They'd earlier announced a partnership for ride-sharing experiments (link).
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Old 26th August 2016, 16:17   #5
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Default Re: Ford invests Rs. 160 crore in Zoomcar

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Originally Posted by GTO View Post
Ford must really like Zoom.
Greg Moran's American connections at work here?
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Old 26th August 2016, 19:18   #6
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Default Re: Ford invests Rs. 160 crore in Zoomcar

I am not sure if I understand the business side of thing correctly. Sorry for the noob question.

Ford gives big money to Zoomcar so that they can purchase cars from Ford? And thus, Ford can show an increase in the sales number of their cars?
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Old 26th August 2016, 21:39   #7
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Default Re: Ford invests Rs. 160 crore in Zoomcar

While I appreciate a global brand investing in something that's clearly a good idea, I don't think funding is Zoomcar's only problem. They started with plenty of funding, but have shown over their THREE years in the market that they don't have a sound strategy to keep their business in good health.

They've expanded mindlessly, not paid any attention to fleet maintenance and their customer service leaves a LOT to be desired. An additional challenge is their lack of monopoly in the market that they enjoyed initially. There are plenty of other players now who may not match them for scale (yet) but provide a far better experience overall.

I hope they do more with this money than just buy cheap cars from Ford, or they'll end up with another lot of junk cars a couple years down the line and none the wiser.

Last edited by Chetan_Rao : 26th August 2016 at 21:42.
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Old 27th August 2016, 09:05   #8
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Default Re: Ford invests Rs. 160 crore in Zoomcar

I hope this is not a precursor to them offering only Ford vehicles for self drive rentals!
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Old 27th August 2016, 12:20   #9
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Default Re: Ford invests Rs. 160 crore in Zoomcar

From Ford's perspective this is indeed a good move, since it can:
1. prove out their vehicles in terms of reliability, maintenance and abuse-friendliness (what more than the rental car market for this)
2. get their cars to be experienced by more people (remember their cars aren't selling too well now, especially the figo and aspire) so that they can improve reach and confidence on the brand, leading to better sales numbers.

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Originally Posted by shankar.balan View Post
I hope this is not a precursor to them offering only Ford vehicles for self drive rentals!
Good point, I hope they don't monopolize the vehicles on offer from Zoomcars.
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Old 27th August 2016, 13:09   #10
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Default Re: Ford invests Rs. 160 crore in Zoomcar

Between 10 weeks in McLeod Ganj, 5 weeks in Leh and 5 weeks in Manali I've lost count of the DL registered Gold on Black registration plate ZoomCar EcoSports whizzing past me.

Down South (spent three weeks between Gokarna, Ooty, Mysore, Madikeri and Hampi) Honda City seemed to be one of the most popular rentals.

Maybe Ford wants to promote the Figo and Aspire for self-driven cars this way ?
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Old 29th August 2016, 11:50   #11
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Default Re: Ford invests Rs. 160 crore in Zoomcar

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Originally Posted by ObsessedByFIAT View Post
I am not sure if I understand the business side of thing correctly. Sorry for the noob question.
Also to have your 'foot in the door' at a promising company. 160 crores is pocket change for Ford. Might as well get onboard so that you don't miss out on the next big thing. Long-term benefits can be seen / worked out later. In the shorter term, sell more cars to them to justify the investment.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chetan_Rao View Post
They've expanded mindlessly, not paid any attention to fleet maintenance and their customer service leaves a LOT to be desired.
I have to admit that I've been hearing a LOT of complaints on Zoomcar this year.

Zoomcar CEO responded to a complaint on another website and got a lot of flak for his tone - link.

Quote:
Originally Posted by shankar.balan View Post
I hope this is not a precursor to them offering only Ford vehicles for self drive rentals!
Unless they become a majority owner - which Ford isn't - they can't really enforce such a move. Zoomcar has a business to run and if customers want a Scorpio (as an example), they'll keep Scorpios.

But yes, such a deal will definitely increase the presence of Fords in the Zoomcar fleet (as a %).

Quote:
Originally Posted by MHG View Post
Between 10 weeks in McLeod Ganj, 5 weeks in Leh and 5 weeks in Manali I've lost count of the DL registered Gold on Black registration plate ZoomCar EcoSports whizzing past me.
Seriously man! Any weekend spent at Lonavla and I see like 10 Zoomcars minimum.
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Old 29th August 2016, 16:11   #12
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Default Re: Ford invests Rs. 160 crore in Zoomcar

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Originally Posted by GTO View Post
.......I have to admit that I've been hearing a LOT of complaints on Zoomcar this year.

Zoomcar CEO responded to a complaint on another website and got a lot of flak for his tone - link.......
Wow! Is that a verified post from Greg Moran? I ask only because a lot of people seem to claim their social media account in question was hacked when there's backlash to certain posts. The rebuttals seem to have been written by someone preparing for a schoolyard debate, not the CEO of a multi-million dollar organisation.

Anyone who needs to know the status of the majority of Zoomcar's fleet needs only to spend 10-minutes at the nearest outlet, I'd actually invite Mr. Moran to do the same before making tall claims reg. their fleet's condition. I myself posted a detailed review of my last experience here (Zoom Car: Self Drive Rentals in India) and even though I got a response from their customer service manager, all they offered was a free ride to make up for the inconvenience caused (which I refused).

They completely dodged addressing my concerns about the blatant mishandling and shady tactics used by their fleet executives, only alluding to action being taken that can't be disclosed. I can still see the same fleet execs at my local Zoom pickup point every time I pass by, so they're just plain liars on that account.
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