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View Poll Results: Will Ford stick around in India?
Yes 255 53.01%
No 226 46.99%
Voters: 481. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 3rd May 2021, 12:58   #61
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Default Re: Ford India's future plans | Will it stick around in India?

I don't think Ford will exit India. Or maybe I don't want them to. Its really frustrating to see we have to discuss such a scenario for a brand whose products are miles better than many of the alternatives available in a similar price segment. Mirroring many opinions already here, I feel Ford should stick with over 15 lakh segment and bring in their global products, localised in India, to take on the Korean siblings and maybe even start a segment between the korean siblings and the compass.
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Old 3rd May 2021, 13:18   #62
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Default Re: Ford India's future plans | Will it stick around in India?

What I feel here is that Ford India and a lot of other manufacturers were trying to replicate a Maruti/Hyundai. That's one of the reasons why these foreign companies failed in India.

Look at TATA, they were in pretty bad shape and no one was even thinking to buy a TATA, say till 5 years ago. But they introduced Zest and then the Tiago and tasted success from thereon. Thereafter various products in almost all categories. They understood the Indian consumer well enough and that is the reason behind TATA's success right now.

They introduced brand new fresh-looking products specifically for the Indian market with a high VFM package in almost all their offering. Not necessarily all their models are VFM, but at least a variant among all their line-up has a well-priced model which attracts the customers.

Additionally when they went on competing with Hyundai & Maruti, they focussed and marketed their products emphasizing more on SAFETY, which the other 2 were not focussing on. Then they also cash in the local product sentimental value of the Indian consumer.

But look at how KIA entered and tasted success. In a totally different approach.

Likewise, in the case of Ford India, I feel they lack vision. Look at their product portfolio for India. Not many offerings. Probably Ecosport is their only car with a good potential even today. So if they want to survive in India, they shall introduce new products in a segment where there will be less competition/introduce a niche product like how they did with Eco Sport back in the days.

Even with their current lineup, they can still survive for some more time or till they introduce new models if they are very keen. Give a cosmetically appealing facelift to the Figo and FreeStyle. Offer them gizmos that can attract people, projector lights, ventilated seats, new alloys, and more importantly AUTO transmission for all models including the diesel.

Thereafter, market them effectively. Ford has an example in front of them, VW India. They still sell their 10-year-old cars though in fewer numbers, still a more desirable brand than Ford India.

Ford cars were known for their Driving Characteristics. They shall stick with that and should be able to convey to the Indian consumers that Ford cars are SAFE-FUN to Drive-Reliable-ECONOMICAL-CHEAP to MAINTAIN. If they succeeded in that, they can still survive till they have another set of cars.

But in the case of Ford, they tend to delete features in all their lineup and create confusion with their customers and also with dealers. Big time for Ford India to hire a marketing team that can sense what the market wants!

Ford India still has potential but they don't know how to use it. Additionally, they shall also realize that the Indian market and the Indian consumers cannot be compared with any other foreign markets. It is a very unique playground here.
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Old 3rd May 2021, 13:35   #63
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Default Re: Ford India's future plans | Will it stick around in India?

I want Ford to stick around. They have some some very underrated but excellent products that have been doing decent numbers.

Eg. 1 - Endeavour sales figures March (2020 vs 2021)
381 vs 1024 units 169% growth

Eg. 2 - Ecosport sales figures March (2020 vs 2021)
2197 vs 5487 units 150% growth

Recently drove a friend's Aspire diesel & was grinning all through the drive. Good feedback from the steering, rock solid road grip even at triple digits.

During the drive I kept wondering why it sold in such low numbers and I had the answer right in front of me. The dials, the dashboard, everything felt a decade or 2 old. Just halogen lights.

How hard is it Ford? Give the projectors from the Ecosport, stop with the feature deletions(sync3), give a refresh to the dashboard to the Aspire/Figo/Freestyle & can bet you that sales will increase by 15%-20% & possibly more.

What they're doing with cars above the 9 lac bracket is good and it seems to be working. Now they must concentrate on the volumes in the lower segments.
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Old 3rd May 2021, 14:03   #64
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Default Re: Ford India's future plans | Will it stick around in India?

For the past few months,Ford is sending mixed signals. These noncohesive statements are what leads to speculation and eventual loss of sales. Just the presence of this thread in Teambhp hot thread section is causing them loss of sales. I think for someone who wants to buy a car, it is best to assume Ford will leave India and stay out of its cars. This chain reaction generally leads to a position where they don't have any choice but to exit.
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Old 3rd May 2021, 15:54   #65
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Default Re: Ford India's future plans | Will it stick around in India?

Voted Yes. The reason being, with governments all over the world bringing regulations on ICE cars, with many car makers stopping R&D budgets on new engines. India will be the last major market with no regulations or ICE sale end dates. What ford has to do is get more cars from their global portfolio, make cars cheap here for India and other developing markets, review your operations in 2030.
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Old 3rd May 2021, 16:48   #66
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Default Re: Ford India's future plans | Will it stick around in India?

Voted Yes!

Reasons for voting yes: First of all, Ford has come a long way in these two decades from the Ikon to the mighty Endeavour (the only true competitor to the Fortuner), no automotive brand spends so much in a market and then immediately shuts shop. They are still opening new dealerships and have enough capital to suffice another decade easily. We canít compare every struggling brand with GM, please keep in mind that GM already had gone bankrupt before exiting India. Secondly, GM lacked vision, thatís not the case with Ford.

We canít say that every struggling brand would exit the market, thatís not how these brands have survived for so many years. Ford has products that they should bring to India at a reasonable cost (Getting the Focus would be a good start), reassess their market strategies, invest more on the R&D and they should be good. Lastly, if we expect every struggling brand to shut shop weíd only be left with Hyundai and Suzuki.

P.S: Iíd still buy a EcoSport/Figo instead of a Sonet/Nios.
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Old 3rd May 2021, 17:02   #67
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Default Re: Ford India's future plans | Will it stick around in India?

I believe they won't quit India operations.

But from my experience of trying to buy an Ecosport from the only dealer in my city, it feels Ford India does not give two hoots about selling cars anymore.

We booked the diesel Titanium and wanted the car as soon as possible, willing to make full payment once we physically see and do a Pdi of the car.

The sales advisor was very lethargic, heck, the entire sales staff were. They lazily told us that they don't have an idea when next Stock would arrive and what shocked me was that they promised they had no idea about what variants/colors of cars they will be getting.

After 10 days from booking, they tried to sell white titanium to us when we firmly had told them we wanted canyon ridge and none other.

The entire indifference and lackluster attitude made us look everywhere else, and ended up being impressed with City 5G ivtec and booking it.

Let's talk about value for money pricing, the myth that is.
A Figo Blu costs 9.8 lakhs on road here, while top end altroz costs just 50k more. Almost same spec, the Figo performs a little better and drives a little better. But altroz trumps it everywhere else.

The aging Ecosport top end S variant retails at 14 lakhs, which is quite some money for what that car offers.
Only model that Ford sells in decent numbers is the Ecosport. All other models are failures, sales wise.

Last edited by PrasannaDhana : 3rd May 2021 at 17:05.
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Old 3rd May 2021, 18:10   #68
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Default Re: Ford India's future plans | Will it stick around in India?

I think Ford will stick around.

In my opinion, steering feel of a car makes or breaks the driving pleasure. And in that, Ford cars are the best with the fun-to-drive DNA in all its offerings. Safety is another feather in its cap. The First Gen Figo/Fiesta/Classic with its telepathic steering and superb road feel was pure bliss and involving to drive.

Ford should try to bring in an 'A segment hatchback' with compact dimensions like the Maruti Alto/Spresso. With its manufacturing plant in Chennai, and parts localisation its definitely possible. That could be a game changer and bring in volumes like what the Old Figo did.
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Old 3rd May 2021, 18:32   #69
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Default Re: Ford India's future plans | Will it stick around in India?

To even see that we are discussing the possibility of Ford exiting India is disheartening to see! I think in the recent past Ford has shown more willingness as a brand than before. They invested in creating a new SUV in the form of Ecosport, they took the fight to the competition by launching new Endeavor and they even entertained us petrolheads with the launch of the Mustangs. These strategies were different from when they were just trying to emulate Maruti and Hyundai success formula by launching cars after cars.

I agree that there is a strong signal of Ford exiting India but somehow I can't bring myself to vote for a Yes. I think better sense will prevail and I think they will still stay invested just to see how it plays out.

If wishes were horses I would have liked Ford to do the following -

1. Ford Ecosport - Invest more to make it better to fight the Cretas and the Seltos out there. It is the most 'Indian' Ford I believe and one of their local success stories.

2. Ford Endeavor - As we all rightly believe the bigger engine needs to come back, this beast deserves it. Again continue to make it more premium and bring in more variants and more colors please.

3. Ford Bronco Sport - Specifically this variants because no matter how much you desire the other variants they simply are not viable in our markets. Bronco Sport as a competitor for everything from XUV to Safari to Harrier to Compass and Alcazar and whatever is coming up. Oh and it needs to be in the 20-25L bracket to fit perfectly between the above 2 SUVs.

4. Ford Ranger - Strictly as a HALO product (limited numbers)

5. Ford Mustang - Strictly as a HALO product (limited numbers)

6. Ford FLEX - It is a discontinued product globally but have you ever sat in one! I have had the good luck of using this on quite a few occasions in US and Dubai. I simply loved it and I always felt that if ever there was a perfect family vehicle to accommodate large Indian families, this would be such a perfect fit. Maybe globally the vehicle may not make sense but it would make for a perfect family car. It would compete with anything from an XUV to an Innova to even Ertiga.

I couldn't resist to daydream a bit and create my own fantasy league of what should Ford's team be in the Indian Auto League
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Old 3rd May 2021, 18:56   #70
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Default Re: Ford India's future plans | Will it stick around in India?

I remember Ford and Hyundai entered Indian market in more or less same year -1998. It was at the same time Tata motors came up with Indica. All these companies faced the same statutory, labor, legal, taxation conditions. While Hyundai thrived and Tata motors survived , why is that only American companies find the environment difficult? Is it not a pertinent question to ask?
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Old 3rd May 2021, 18:59   #71
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Default Re: Ford India's future plans | Will it stick around in India?

One gets the feeling that Ford had banked on the Mahindra partnership to deliver economies of scale as well as product development. Now that it has fallen through, they find themselves in a bind.

On the one hand, sticking around for the long term might eventually pay dividends. But on the other, there is the short term argument for the immediate bottom line. The problem being, future re-entry will be next to impossible, whereas anything less than a firm commitment will erode brand value over time.
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Old 3rd May 2021, 19:40   #72
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Default Re: Ford India's future plans | Will it stick around in India?

I sincerely hope Ford doesn't quit India. I have owned several Fords in the past and they have such an unmistakable character to them. I drive an Ecosport now and it is built like a tank! Dont know why they did what they did the past 5 years. They let down a solid dealer network and loyal fans with their headless chicken of a product strategy.

There is so much room in the SUV space. Its not like they dont have a product they can bring in to India. Mystery!
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Old 3rd May 2021, 21:49   #73
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Default Re: Ford India's future plans | Will it stick around in India?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Allterrain View Post
I remember Ford and Hyundai entered Indian market in more or less same year -1998. It was at the same time Tata motors came up with Indica. All these companies faced the same statutory, labor, legal, taxation conditions. While Hyundai thrived and Tata motors survived , why is that only American companies find the environment difficult? Is it not a pertinent question to ask?
It is largely how the companies are structured. American companies will have slower decision making, prefer to bring existing models and focus on profits.

See companies like Ford have a global focus and will prefer to invest in markets which give assured returns. India was not a matured car market and still it is not matured though better over the last 20 years.

For companies like Tata this is the only market and they have to compete to survive. They faltered earlier but now have come back with great products.

Hyundai was hedging risk and being a Asian company our needs for small cars is similar. So they can bring thiet cheaper version and react to market quicker.
Also South Korea being an ally of USA they got entry in the market and tech transfer. Not to take away from them on being innovative.

Like it or not, Indian automotive rules are written with Maruti consent. That company is headed by IAS and they have internal support.

So American and European companies will always struggle compared to Asian. We are the main loosers, there will be little tech transfer, our car quality will stagnate and so will our manufacturing expertise.
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Old 3rd May 2021, 22:03   #74
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Default Re: Ford India's future plans | Will it stick around in India?

If you ask me, Ford’s failure to penetrate the Indian market is actually surprising. Unlike GM(which uses the junky Daewoo small cars), Ford is a favorite in Europe (LATAM & South America too) due to their competent hatchbacks, sedans, and crossovers. The Fiesta is the best selling small car in many European countries and is highly rated against it’s Japanese, Korean, and European competition.

Barring the Ecosport, Ford was never in the right place at the right time in India.

Last edited by landcruiser123 : 3rd May 2021 at 22:20.
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Old 3rd May 2021, 22:29   #75
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Default Re: Ford India's future plans | Will it stick around in India?

The only way I see Ford surviving is if Steve Armstrong decides to introduce new products into the market on a regular basis. If that's not worth the investment, and reading about his background, Ford should be exiting domestic sales within this year. He surely won't continue the sales based on the Endeavor and the age old EcoSport.
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