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Old 7th July 2010, 19:57   #16
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Hi All,

Apologies for the delay in posting my buying & initial ownership experiences. Here it is.

It all started during the summer of 2009 when I decided that it was time to buy my first car. I have been driving my Dad's Maruti 800 for almost 12 years ('98 till date) now and still love it for its awesome reliability and for the true example of 'fill it, shut it and forget it' that it stands for. Obviously age had taken a toll on it and it was time for an upgrade. Did extensive research on carwale, Teambhp and numerous car magazines including 'What car?' 'Overdrive' etc. Finally I thought it would be either Hyundai Verna or Honda City S. But did not get a buy in from wife and parents mainly because it was a sedan ('long car'), costlier and maintaining it, driving/parking it in the city would be cumbersome. So, out went sedans. I then began researching on the hatchbacks.

Swift Diesel was my first love from time immemorial, more so because my father-in-law has one and I have driven it a few times. IMHO, it's performance and reliability can't be matched by any other entry diesel hatchbacks. I had almost decided that it was going to be Swift D for me as well.

Circa Jan 2010, the market was flooded with a lot of new hatchbacks. I did TDs of many cars and narrowed down to 4 cars to decide from. Did not consider i20 since the top end diesel was out of budget and because of inept A/c. Following are my impressions (purely my take, no offence to any of the owners).

Swift VDI (with ABS):

Positives: Gem of an engine, mileage, Maruti A.S.S, power and torque
Negatives: Claustrophobic rear, Boot space, dark interiors, not much of creature comforts esp in the Vdi version, absence of airbags, extremely long waiting period (esp for Vdi with ABS)

Punto Emotion Pack

Positives: Sturdy build, awesome design, excellent ride and handling, can gobble the worst of roads with aplomb, has our national engine (1.3 MJD) under its hood
Negatives: Lack of space both at the front and the rear (in comparison to Figo and i20), FIAT A.S.S, visibility from the inside, not very easy to maneuver (like say the figo)


Polo (Test drove only the Petrol version)

Positives: Fit and finish, Sturdy build, neat design, simple and yet refreshing interiors, brand name/image.
Negativies: Petrol motor not very refined, diesel top end very costly, VW A.S.S, huge waiting period

Finally it was the Figo 1.4 Diesel Titanium, test drove almost 3 times at both the dealerships in Bangalore

Positives: Amazing engine, drivability, cheerful and airy cabin and interiors, Powerful A/c, space (both at front and rear), visibility, easy to maneuver,
boot space, top end diesel well within the budget of a swift vdi (with ABS), seat quality, feels much sturdier than Japanese competitors
Negatives: Low ground clearance, lack of rear power windows, fuel economy still a big question mark.

Finally, after almost 2 years of research, we decided that it has to be the Figo 1.4 Titanium. On the colors, I was okay with either Silver, Red or Sea Grey, but my wife was very clear that she wanted a sea grey figo and nothing else. So, we went to Lathangi Ford on 16th of May and booked a Sea grey figo. The waiting time that was promised was 4-5 weeks.

Post booking was a harrowing time waiting for the car with no calls/updates from the sales agent. Worse, they were not even ready to receive my calls or atleast call me back. There were no response to my mails as well. 4 weeks passed and still there was no sign/update on my car and the dealership was an absolute blackbox with no information coming in from their end. Finally, I decided it was time for some escalation. Got hold of Ford's customer care details and also a few email addresses of their top management (including that of VP Gerard). I wrote a big mail complaining about the lackadaisical attitude and unprofessionalism of the dealership and told them that I would have to cancel the booking if the delay continues. Also followed up with a call to their customer care number and registered a complaint. Whether it was sheer coincidence or prompt action on my complaint, things started moving all of a sudden and after 3 days, I got a call from my dealer that my car has arrived from Chennai and that I can come over and do a Predelivery inspection. Ford Customer care also called me up and confirmed that they have indeed dispatched the car to my dealership and that I will be hearing from the dealer very soon. We were very happy with the response from Ford, I wrote them an appreciation mail for their promption action and went to the showroom to do the PDI. The team lead at Lathangi was playing hide and seek with me (despite having seen me sitting there) quite obviously angered by my complaint against them to Ford India. I was sitting there for almost an hour without anybody following on us. Went to the GM's cabin and gave a piece of my mind. I guess that woke the team lead who then came up and claimed that he never saw us inside the showroom. I thought there was no use arguing with such fools and asked him to show me my car. Followed the instructions in the PDI checklist on Team-BHP religiously and everything seemed to be okay to go ahead with the registration. Worked out the final price including the accessories that I wanted and completed the payment formalities. The delivery date that was promised was 28th June since they wanted 4-5 days for registration. 28th Of June was a big day. I couldn't sleep properly the previous night and obviously couldn't concentrate at work. Was waiting for the clock to strike 4 pm so that I could leave office. Picked up my wife from her office, packed a box of sweets for the sales agent (to sign off on a positive note) and landed at the showroom. My Sea grey beauty was standing there all decked up. It was just an amazing feeling to see, smell and feel your brand new car on the day of delivery. Priceless!

The accessories (alloys, fog lamps, sun films) were all fitted and everything seemed to be finished well. I have already posted some of the photos that I took at Lathangi ford prior to the delivery. The ODO showed 14 kms (No problem there). Completed the formalities inside the showroom and visited the service centre and met the service centre Manager and got his contact details (again following the Team-BHP instructions religiously!) and it was time for the car demo. Inspected the car for the final time. The original steel wheels were kept in the boot (as requested) but didn't see the wheel caps. Asked sales agent about it and she said it was there inside the box. Obviously, I was in no mood to trust their words. Told them to open all the boxes and as expected the wheel caps were missing. The sales agent was also suddenly missing! She reappeared after a while with a set of 4 new wheel caps and kept it in the boot. She then began the 'demo' explaining most of the functionalities of the car but I had to correct her time and again at most of them (For eg. she said only 6 FM stations could be preset on the stereo but actually 18 stations can be preset in the FM band alone (FM1 to FM3) apart from AM. She also goofed up on the fog lamp operation.) Thanks to Team BHP and the extensive ownership experiences that are shared here, I fortunately knew most of the functionalities so knew what to take and what not to. I did'nt want to burn my bridges and spoil the happy occasion by giving a stern feedback on their sales experience and knowledge about the car but this is one area Ford would do good to buckle up. However good a product the Figo is, the pathetic sales agents and the arrogant dealerships are definitely not living upto the expectations of the customer. I only pray that their After sales experience does not follow similar trends. I don't want to blame the sales agents because they are just kids who are still studying (part-time) in colleges and you can't expect from them, the kind of maturity, experience and committment that one would expect from a professional sales consultant (esp. car sales rep.). The top management at the dealerships are to be blamed for not hiring the proper candidates or for not training them properly about the car functionalities and learn to be professional and committed towards customer expectations. (I don't know about other Ford dealerships, but this is the scene at Lathangi Ford, Bangalore).

IMHO, Sales and After sales service are the major areas that Ford should concentrate and strengthen now. They need to atleast satisfy (if not delight) the customers because buying a car is a significant milestone for each and every customer though it may be a routine affair for them. Even on the day of the delivery, I could see few of the prospective Figo buyers waiting for a sales rep to attend to them. All the Sales agents were huddled inside the GM's room and when I enquired why there is nobody to attend to customers, they replied saying that it was 'Salary day' and they were all curious to know their commissions. Can you beat that? Evidently, that was more important than attending to customers who were there to shell out 6-7 lakh rupees!! I think they have to go a long way till they realise that they exist because of customers like us. Whatever happened to the saying 'Customer first'.... I just hope that other Ford dealerships outside Bangalore are not such lousy unprofessionals like at Lathangi.

Anyways, coming to the car delivery, the SA informed me that they have filled up 5 litres of diesel (I just hoped that there was enough to last till the nearest diesel bunk). Thanked the SA and Team lead, gave them a fresh box of sweets as token of 'appreciation'. There was no pooja or whatsoever offered by the dealer (as expected!). We put 4 lemons under the 4 tyres, broke a coconut and before cranked up the engine. It was time for us to drive away from the showroom into the peak evening bangalore traffic on Bannerghatta Road. Waded carefully through the traffic (hoping all the time that no bike or auto would
come and make contact) and landed at the BP diesel bunk (near BTM water tank). Filled up the tank, she drank around 41.3 ltrs, DTE now showed 575Kms (not bad!). Drove to the Ganapathi temple near my home and finished the pooja. She was the cynosure of many eyes during my commute back home and I thoroughly enjoyed the attention. There was another pooja at home (courtesy my mom) and the stage was set for a 'All izz well' photo session. Took my parents for a short drive and they were all praise for the 'sturdy' car (benchmark being M-800) feel and ride. Decided to call it a 'night' but not before I gazed long and hard at her resting on our porch. I must admit that I couldn't help giving her few more admiring looks from the window before I went to bed.

I have driven around 170 Kms till now (not been able to take her on the highways yet) and following are some of my impressions so far:

Positives: Have already mentioned most of them above, additional ones include: Fab OEM music system (easily the best I've heard so far apart from ANHC's music system), Blue tooth pairing and music works like magic, straight line stability and composure around corners, road noise insulation, Of course the safety equipment ABS and Airbags.
Negatives: As mentioned earlier, Low GC. Happened to scrape a speed breaker with 3 at the back (It's not a problem if you drive really slow over the hump), rear windows have a tendency to come down a little after some driving (I think this issue has been highlighted by other owners as well). You need to doubly check whether the rear windows are properly closed before washing the car. Maybe installing power windows would overcome this problem, lack of 'beep' sound while remote locking/unlocking (not a significant issue but would have been very convenient)

So far so good, I'm thoroughly enjoying driving her. Will update more on the FE (after the next tank fill), highway drive and other experiences as I go forward. Thank you all for the valuable information shared through the numerous Figo ownership threads which proved to be extremely useful for us to decide on the Figo. I'm highly indebted to this forum. A big THANKS once again.

Pls. feel free to share your comments/tips/suggestions on maintaining and driving this beauty.

Last edited by sathya79 : 7th July 2010 at 20:06.
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Old 8th July 2010, 07:53   #17
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Congrats Satya on your new possession. The sea grey colour looks too good on the Figo. In fact the colour looks great on all Ford vehicles. I have seen a couple of Figo's in red and white in my society and the owners swear by the performance. Happy mile crunching, drive safely.

BTW I did not notice the Oil temp indicator on the dashbaord, is this not available in Figo.
Many on the forum have benefited by writing to Ford Customer care bacause of dealer's stupic antics. Atleast there's one positive that Ford has seriously started caring for customer demands.
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Old 8th July 2010, 08:17   #18
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Great body color, Superb alloys and a fabulous car. Congrats on your buy. The only negative I can find in the looks is the dash color. We had an ikon and the ownership experience was not great. You need a really deep pocket to maintain a Ford. Hope yours will be a trouble free ownership.
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Old 8th July 2010, 13:55   #19
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Originally Posted by ghodlur View Post
Congrats Satya on your new possession. The sea grey colour looks too good on the Figo. In fact the colour looks great on all Ford vehicles. I have seen a couple of Figo's in red and white in my society and the owners swear by the performance. Happy mile crunching, drive safely.

BTW I did not notice the Oil temp indicator on the dashbaord, is this not available in Figo.
Many on the forum have benefited by writing to Ford Customer care bacause of dealer's stupic antics. Atleast there's one positive that Ford has seriously started caring for customer demands.
Thanks a lot for your wishes ghodlur. There is no 'constant' Oil temp indicator on the dashboard. There is light for the temp indicator that lights up during startup check and goes off subsequently. However, if the oil temp goes beyond a particular threshold, the indicator starts to flash along with an audible chime to indicate that the oil temp. is beyond the acceptable limits. I guess that should be enough.

Yes, the empathy and responsiveness shown by the Ford customer care to immediately address customer issues is the only silver lining amidst such pathetic and lousy dealerships. Just hope it continues and the dealerships get their act together.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AstonMartin View Post
Great body color, Superb alloys and a fabulous car. Congrats on your buy. The only negative I can find in the looks is the dash color. We had an ikon and the ownership experience was not great. You need a really deep pocket to maintain a Ford. Hope yours will be a trouble free ownership.
Thanks Aston. There are people who absolutely love the red dash and those who loathe it. Thankfully, I'm amongst the former. I specifically ordered and waited for that colour (though the dealer was pushing me to have an option for ebony dash as well). I know you may say 'eeks, what on earth is that color?' but let me tell you, its a different feeling when you see it in person and it actually growns on you. It is very vibrant and cheerful to be inside. I personally find black dash extremely boring. The other advantage is that the heat that is generated from the coral red dashboard when you have parked your car under direct sunlight is significantly lesser than that of the ebony dashbaord. So, you don't actually strain the A/c or require a sunfilm for the windshield to prevent the heat.

Cost of ownership of ikon can't be compared to that of the figo. Ford has gone a long way in lowering the cost of spares and I'm sure maintaining a Figo will be similar to that of Swift D (Of course, the labour charges are a little high compared to Maruti).
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Old 8th July 2010, 14:16   #20
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Clicked couple of snaps of the two banners that were put on display inside Lathangi Ford showroom. Though, these are claimed ads, you can see the seriousness and committment of Ford to lower the cost of ownership of the Figo.
Attached Thumbnails
Sea Grey passion: Finally got my new Ford Figo 1.4 Diesel Titanium-leader-its-class.jpg  

Sea Grey passion: Finally got my new Ford Figo 1.4 Diesel Titanium-scheduled-service-cost-comparator.jpg  

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Old 8th July 2010, 14:33   #21
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Fantastic report, I must say. I did face similar experience with SA when i was buying ikon few years back. Its mostly because of lack of dealership networks, these people become kind of monopoly in the ford market. Had there been network of dealers like Maruti's, customer care would have been totally different.

BTW, Did you get any freebies? Any cash discounts or corporate discounts? I am planning to buy Figo Diesel ZXI from Lathangi itself. So far i could able to negotiate to get sun films as freebie.

Note from Support: Please do not quote such a large post. It hampers readability for our mobile users.

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Old 8th July 2010, 16:13   #22
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Fantastic report, I must say. I did face similar experience with SA when i was buying ikon few years back. Its mostly because of lack of dealership networks, these people become kind of monopoly in the ford market. Had there been network of dealers like Maruti's, customer care would have been totally different.

BTW, Did you get any freebies? Any cash discounts or corporate discounts? I am planning to buy Figo Diesel ZXI from Lathangi itself. So far i could able to negotiate to get sun films as freebie.
Thanks Adrenalin. I agree that Lathangi and Metro dealerships are enjoying a huge monopolistic advantage in Bangalore. Since customers don't have any other dealership options and are sold on the Figo, the dealers think they can do whatever they like. I just hope their 'goonda raj' will surely come to an end soon.

Did you book your Figo already? Though Metro Ford is no better than Lathangi in terms of Sales experience, I have a hunch that they may get your car sooner than Lathangi since they are much bigger dealership and I guess they have a better clout than Lathangi to negotiate with Ford India. Do your bit of research and then book at the right dealership. Post booking is one of the most agonizing period if you book at Lathangi. I can give you my word on it.

I too managed to get Sun films apart from the free essential pack (floor mats and mud flaps) and the bag of chocolates. As part of the corporate offer, got the 3rd year extended warranty free. No cash discount. Also asked for a good Ganesha idol to adorn my dash and for the first time they didn't refuse. They never have stock of the mud flaps. I too didn't get it at the time of delivery but got it last week. I believe they are in great demand and don't be surprised if they say 'no stock' at the time of delivery.
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Old 8th July 2010, 16:22   #23
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Hi All,

I heard somewhere about the 'Total maintenance Plan' for the Figo. Enquired the dealer and as usual he has no idea about it and he told me that they would mail me when they get the details from Ford India. Has anybody have an idea on this plan? What cost? Advantages/Disadvantages? Is it really necessary since I already have an extended warranty for 3 years? Comments/Suggestions would be highly appreciated.

Also, I'm planning to shop for seat covers for my Figo. Pure leather and Art leather are the options that come to my mind. I heard Stanley's on Mission Road Bangalore is a good place for leather seat covers. Any suggestions?
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Old 8th July 2010, 18:40   #24
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Hi All,

I heard somewhere about the 'Total maintenance Plan' for the Figo. Enquired the dealer and as usual he has no idea about it and he told me that they would mail me when they get the details from Ford India. Has anybody have an idea on this plan? What cost? Advantages/Disadvantages? Is it really necessary since I already have an extended warranty for 3 years? Comments/Suggestions would be highly appreciated.
Well TMP costs you 10480 (in Pune) for 20K KM, if you have extended warranty you dont need to opt for it.

And by the way Ford has already released the TMP details more than a week ago so pester your dealer should you be needing more information.

And by the way congratulations on your new buy, even I have got home a 1.4 sea grey Titanium Figo, should be posting my experiences soon :P

I have named my car Ash! :P
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Old 8th July 2010, 19:42   #25
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Well TMP costs you 10480 (in Pune) for 20K KM, if you have extended warranty you dont need to opt for it.

And by the way Ford has already released the TMP details more than a week ago so pester your dealer should you be needing more information.

And by the way congratulations on your new buy, even I have got home a 1.4 sea grey Titanium Figo, should be posting my experiences soon :P

I have named my car Ash! :P
Hey thanks anil. Will check with my dealer. And BTW, congratulations on your new sea grey figo. Which colour is your dash? Looking fwd for your ownership report and the pics.
And pls. search for a better name for your car...
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