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Old 10th April 2019, 09:17   #16
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Default re: Ford to end independent operations in India; will hold 49% in JV with Mahindra

This is just sad. Hope this doesn't end up like TATA-FIAT JV where both cars were to be sold from same showroom and the SAs usually weren't too interested in selling Fiat products ahead of the TATA ones. Rest is history.

Instead of introducing the current Figo, Ford should have brought in the international Fiesta hatch. Infact the first gen figo in India was the international Fiesta itself, although it came here after being discontinued everywhere else. The fiesta hatch with current Figo/Freestyle like features would have given both i20 and Baleno a decent challenge. Ford tried to do a Maruti with the Aspire and Figo going away from their strength of solid build & sorted dynamics, in the process, burnt their fingers never to recover.

Seeing all these global firms leave is scary. Americans and Europeans seem to have failed in cracking the market. This would give Maruti a free run with only Hyundai as a challenger. What next? Even the Japanese(Honda) would take similar route?

Last edited by SoumenD : 10th April 2019 at 09:19.
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Old 10th April 2019, 09:18   #17
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Default re: Ford to end independent operations in India; will hold 49% in JV with Mahindra

I am a little confused. Will we continue to have "Ford" branded vehicles? In which case it won't really be an exit but de-risking their operation by having a local partner. It would also mean a chance to strengthen the brand again by offering models with true Ford DNA (since Mahindra portion would be accounting for volumes, pressure will be relatively less).
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Old 10th April 2019, 09:21   #18
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Default re: Ford to end independent operations in India; will hold 49% in JV with Mahindra

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Originally Posted by GTO View Post
Ford would've been concerned with the entry of aggressive players like Kia & MG who will create a hyper-competitive scenario.
Now, who will be confident in buying Ford cars?

This lukewarm approach will only lead them to the GM and Fiat way eventually. I never thought Ford would do this ahead of Nissan or VW.

Ford, if you are serious in a market, you need to take the bull by its horn, not by the tail. If a newbie like MG or Kia can play the Indian market aggressively, why not Ford with decades of experience?
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Old 10th April 2019, 09:21   #19
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Default re: Ford to end independent operations in India; will hold 49% in JV with Mahindra

This is a win-win for both IMO. More people walk into a Mahindra Showroom than a Ford one. Now, those who want a vehicle for less than 10 lakhs have great options in Figo, Freestyle and Aspire. Solid vehicles that can sell more with the Mahindra brand behind them. Outside of cities, the M badge carries much more heft than a Ford.

Ford also gets to bring a vehicles into segments which they do not cover now, like the XUV500 range. Ford owners get access to a wider range of service centers, though we have to get the details on how this will pan out.

Joint ventures are the way forward for all companies and we can see that in the partnerships developing.

By doing this, Ford can take out its loss making ventures in India and focus on its strong markets like USA, Europe and China.

Lets hope this turns out to be a big win for the customers as well.
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Old 10th April 2019, 09:24   #20
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Default re: Ford to end independent operations in India; will hold 49% in JV with Mahindra

Disappointing doesn't even begin to cover how I feel. My family is an existing Ford customer, and one the verge of being a repeat one.

Ford's run in India is a bit like college kids studying for a passing grade, then being disappointed and dropping out because they didn't top the class.

They never offered us a decent cross-section of their global portfolio, diluted whatever they did in subsequent iterations, constantly juggled pricing/features/variants and made a thorough mockery of themselves.

This maybe a JV on paper, but I look at it as an attempt to keep badge presence with rebadged Mahindra products. I doubt they'll ever have the gumption to dive back in with a full-fledged operation later, esp. in an unforgiving market like ours that doesn't trust anyone except the big two to begin with.

Ford have just rubber stamped their 'niche player' badge, possibly permanently.
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Old 10th April 2019, 09:39   #21
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Default re: Ford to end independent operations in India; will hold 49% in JV with Mahindra

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Originally Posted by octane_100 View Post
Will we continue to have "Ford" branded vehicles?
Quoting a friendly BHPian here. He might reply to this thread if he wants to share his identity:

Quote:
Current crop of Ford cars might undergo a re-branding exercise and will be sold as M&M cars.
"Might" is the key term here. Maybe a Mahindra-Ford badge (like Maruti-Suzuki)? Or just "Mahindra EcoSport"? Or maybe, just continue as the Ford EcoSport?

Let's not forget that if they are rebranded as Mahindras, they'll be in direct competition with Mahindra's own cars (EcoSport vs XUV300, Endeavour vs Alturas). End of the day, Mahindra will always want its own products to sell more, rather than rebranded ones.
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Old 10th April 2019, 09:40   #22
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Default Re: Ford to end its solo drive in India; will hold 49% in JV with Mahindra

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Originally Posted by the_joker View Post
What if it goes the Fiat way?
Technically, this is way beyond the FCA situation. Or even the VW situation.

FCA India Automobiles Private Limited is still a fully owned subsidiary - and even though sales figures are pathetic, is still in the market alone (and profitable due to engine sales). There is a rumour that FIAT brand might be discontinued, but FCA is still around with the Jeep brand.

Even with VW - they have given control to their sister brand Skoda, so atleast there would be a better incentive to work for the success of both brands, and even internationally both brands do share a whole lot including platforms and engines.

Whereas, Ford has left control of the steering wheel of their brand in the hands of Mahindra. A 49% stake most likely indicates that Ford will just try to sell rebadged Mahindra cars mostly going forward - a strategy that has almost never worked in the Indian market.

Last edited by CrAzY dRiVeR : 10th April 2019 at 09:45.
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Old 10th April 2019, 09:49   #23
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Default Re: Ford to end its solo drive in India; will hold 49% in JV with Mahindra

My take on this is a bit different.

The government has been signalling for some time now its intention to go the EV route by 2030. All the companies who have pared down their operations in India do not want to make a big investment in new technology for a market which is not the largest and where their market share is also negligible.

Be it Ford or VW or GM, as a company I do not think they are serious about going the EV route. Sure, they might have EVs in their line-up but I feel it is more a token presence. They also know that inevitably they have to go the EV route, but will they pump in investment in a insignificant (for them) market like India?

I feel they are just playing the waiting game for the policies and infrastructure to stabilise before they commit.

In the current scheme of things it is more profitable for Ford to have a JV with Mahindra. They will let the local partner take all the risks.
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Old 10th April 2019, 09:51   #24
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Default re: Ford to end independent operations in India; will hold 49% in JV with Mahindra

I think this is a fair decision though unfortunate. The Indian auto market is a heavily herd mentality market ( you can call it different things - tough, difficult etc but it finally boils down to this one buyer behavior ). While we can go gaga about Hyundai's success, there are very few product positioning slots available in this market and all are taken. So its difficult for any other player with scale ambitions to survive.

Dealer networks are also difficult to manage in India that puts a lot of strain on the manufacturer.

I feel FORD did its best with bringing quite a lot of relevant products to the market, took the bold step of even incorporating its captive NBFC ( no other mass marketeer has a captive auto NBFC - I keep hearing Hyundai is going to launch soon but not sure if they actually did ). Despite that, if the response from the market is lukewarm, its a loss to auto enthusiasts like us.
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Old 10th April 2019, 09:52   #25
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Default re: Ford to end independent operations in India; will hold 49% in JV with Mahindra

I would be disappointed if things go as pointed out by GTO couple of posts above. I hope we will continue to have Ford vehicles but built by this JV (just like the yesteryear Escort and the Logan).
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Old 10th April 2019, 09:55   #26
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Default re: Ford to end independent operations in India; will hold 49% in JV with Mahindra

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Originally Posted by narayan View Post
I think this is a fair decision though unfortunate. The Indian auto market is a heavily herd mentality market ( you can call it different things - tough, difficult etc but it finally boils down to this one buyer behavior ).
Completely agree with you on the point above. Being a Ford owner in the Indian market, i recall the extreme resistance from friends and 'well-wishers' on the decision to buy a Ford and not a Maruti.
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Old 10th April 2019, 10:03   #27
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Default Re: Ford's SUV based on the next-gen XUV500 is coming in 2020

^^^
This may not be a bad move considering the losses Ford makes in its India operations.
At least Ford cars will be available with After sales and service continuing for the existing cars.
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Old 10th April 2019, 10:04   #28
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Default re: Ford to end independent operations in India; will hold 49% in JV with Mahindra

So sad to see Ford go. A Mahindra-Ford will never be a Ford in its real sense. I own the Ist gen Ford Figo. That car taught me so much about driving dynamics. I dont think I will ever get the steering feel and handling combo in any other car in future. All the EPS steerings have become lighter. I was hoping that Ford would bring the Fiesta hatch or even continue the sedan for me to upgrade. The trend in the industry looks disturbing for us who fancy cars. Fiat gone, Ford on the way out. We budget buyers are left with only Polo GT Tsi and Baleno RS. Dont really know how long VW is going to last as well. Hopefully Skoda will stay and keep the European flavour flowing.
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Old 10th April 2019, 10:08   #29
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Default re: Ford to end independent operations in India; will hold 49% in JV with Mahindra

If this is true, I am quite surprised with the decision to give Mahindra the driving seat in the JV. Ford India is now a profitable company and they definitely are on the right track with a limited but good vehicle portfolio, very affordable after sales and overall customer focus. All they need now is to bring in new products.

Till more details of the JV are revealed it is all speculation. Hopefully this is done right and we get more blue oval cars in our market. A Ford with a Mahindra badge just doesn't sound right.

Last edited by fiat_tarun : 10th April 2019 at 10:13.
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Old 10th April 2019, 10:10   #30
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Default re: Ford to end independent operations in India; will hold 49% in JV with Mahindra

Quote:
Originally Posted by narayan View Post
.... The Indian auto market is a heavily herd mentality market ( you can call it different things - tough, difficult etc but it finally boils down to this one buyer behavior
You're right, but the trick to survive in a herd mentality environment is to create your own. Look at Hyundai. Ford created a small one of their own, but then lost focus and tried to dance a jig they didn't know the steps to (mass market cars).

Quote:
While we can go gaga about Hyundai's success, there are very few product positioning slots available in this market and all are taken. So its difficult for any other player with scale ambitions to survive.
Ford has been here long enough that they had the same opportunities to capture market segments as the current segment leaders, the difference was in effort, not opportunity. They themselves captured the compact-SUV market for a while with the Ecosport, so it's not just theory. It can be done with the right products.

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Originally Posted by benbsb29 View Post
Completely agree with you on the point above. Being a Ford owner in the Indian market, i recall the extreme resistance from friends and 'well-wishers' on the decision to buy a Ford and not a Maruti.
Same story when we bought the first-gen Figo nearly a decade ago. Never regretted the decision.

Last edited by Chetan_Rao : 10th April 2019 at 10:12.
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