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View Poll Results: Will Ford stick around in India?
Yes 255 53.01%
No 226 46.99%
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Old 30th April 2021, 15:02   #1
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Default Ford India's future plans | Will it stick around in India?

At the end of 2020, Ford ended its plans to tie up with Mahindra in the Indian market. The company cited the challenges posed by the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic as the reason for the move. Now, it has revealed that it will decide on its future in India later this year.

Dianne Craig from Ford’s International Markets Group has revealed that the company has to assess its capital allocation in India. Steven Armstrong – a senior executive, has been appointed as the transformation officer for India and South America. He will evaluate the company’s investments in India. Anurag Mehrotra, the MD and President of Ford India, will report to him.

Ford has been in India for 25 years, but it has not been able to make significant inroads into the market dominated by players such as Maruti and Hyundai. It has a market share of just 2%. General Motors, another American carmaker, already ended its operations in India.

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Under the joint venture with Mahindra, Ford was jointly developing SUVs for India and other emerging markets. Now it will either have to bring in vehicles from its global portfolio or develop cars on its own for the country. But, such products will need a large amount of localisation to keep their prices competitive.

Ford expects to be able to take a decision on its investments in India in the second half of the year.

Link to Team-BHP News Article

Source: HT Auto

Last edited by Aditya : 30th April 2021 at 20:50.
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Old 30th April 2021, 15:55   #2
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Default re: Ford India's future plans | Will it stick around in India?

Hope Ford doesn't follow the GM way. Ford makes way capable cars especially for enthusiasts like us but for some reasons they don't sell well. They do have a decent service network as well & cost of spares is definitely competitive(if not lower) than it's rivals. If Ford exit's from Indian Market then it would a bigger loss for us than Ford considering their European market.
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Old 30th April 2021, 15:58   #3
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Default re: Ford India's future plans | Will it stick around in India?

I think Ford has plainly two choices:

1) Either wind up the India story and call it a day or

2) Focus on high margin niche segment (+30L).

Its evident that the global giants are finding the India chapter too puzzling and pointless, read Toyota, Honda, erstwhile GM and now Ford.

From the absurd Indian Govt. rules to the eye watering taxes on cars, these players have to either make contraptions tailored for the Indian market by investing millions in R&D and local plants, thereby watering down quality, safety aspects which is a huge deviation from what companies like Toyota strive to be known for or bring in their global portfolio which again will end up being too expensive for the masses due to the insane taxation. Eg: In the middle-east, one can easily purchase a Toyota Corolla for less than Rs.14L! while in India it costs upward of Rs.22L for the same. Take the example of the new VW Polo. Internationally the new Polo measures more than 4m! It remains to be seen how they are going to slice and dice it for their India story.

The India story continues to make one laugh with its policies. Meanwhile its people have to be content with either contraptions or Maruti Suzuki.
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Old 30th April 2021, 16:45   #4
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Default re: Ford India's future plans | Will it stick around in India?

Quote:
Originally Posted by LaRoca View Post
I think Ford has plainly two choices:

1) Either wind up the India story and call it a day or

2) Focus on high margin niche segment (+30L).

Its evident that the global giants are finding the India chapter too puzzling and pointless, read Toyota, Honda, erstwhile GM and now Ford.

From the absurd Indian Govt. rules to the eye watering taxes on cars, these players have to either make contraptions tailored for the Indian market by investing millions in R&D and local plants
Yeah - I kinda agree too. Though 30+ lakh segment might only work in the SUV space. The Germans already own the sedan space and I think Ford themselves is moving away from it. Even in the SuV space, Ford will need to bring worthy products.

Option (3) - JVs are still an option but I don't see an Indian player with a proper product fit. Can a JV with a Chinese player be leveraged? I think the Mahindra JV didn't make sense for Mahindra as they invested themselves in the new product pipeline and decied to focus on SUVs where they don't seem to need a JV. Ford probably had nothing too relevant to offer even in terms of technology since Mahindra developed not just diesel but petrol engines too and seems to working on modern car tech themselves.

But definitely no point Ford investing in India specific products unless they are electric (long shot). Gasoline products will be a lost investment even in the hybrid avatar as they just don't have a decent base portfolio.

What ever they choose, it's a tough road ahead!

Last edited by Nilesh5417 : 30th April 2021 at 16:52.
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Old 30th April 2021, 17:44   #5
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Default re: Ford India's future plans | Will it stick around in India?

I think the writing is clear on the wall.

They cant survive much longer with this aging portfolio. The figo/aspire has been around for ages, and even the ecosport badly needs a new generation, and all of these need a major investment in R&D. Which Ford seems unwilling to make.

Congrats Toyota. Looks like Fortuner will lose the only competitor it had.

The only thing that can stop a Toyota Fortuner is a Maruti Fortuner.
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Old 30th April 2021, 17:48   #6
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Default re: Ford India's future plans | Will it stick around in India?

If the Harrier thread is anything to go by, there is a massive gap between the Hector/Harrier and Compass which can be filled. Ford has the brand recall and should get a slice of that market.
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Old 30th April 2021, 18:01   #7
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Default re: Ford India's future plans | Will it stick around in India?

This seems to be an eerie repeat of GM's exit in 2017, with them announcing their exit roughly six months before their planned exit date, 31st December 2017.

Will the other American follow this playbook?
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Old 30th April 2021, 20:25   #8
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Default re: Ford India's future plans | Will it stick around in India?

I am quite sure they aren't leaving India. Not after appointing a new India CEO recently. But what I am puzzled about it is, why are they announcing these things publicly? It only puzzles the audience even more!

Whatever it is, I hope they don't leave. Even with a half hearted approach towards Ecosport and the Endeavour, they are still bringing in great numbers. With a little more conviction they have the potential to dominate atleast 10+ lakh segments. Needless to say, they are the only one manufacturer currently which offers the following combo in their cars-

1) Fun to drive
2) Reliable
3) A good ASS
4) Great NVH
5) Good interior quality
6) Reasonable prices
7) Fantastic engines ( except the 2.0 Endeavour)
8) Solid build quality

Last edited by 07CR : 30th April 2021 at 20:30.
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Old 30th April 2021, 20:57   #9
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Default re: Ford India's future plans | Will it stick around in India?

Sad, just sad. Guess FORD lost it when it tried to emulate Maruti/Hyundai by swaying away from their strength areas. After Ecosport they should have brought in the Fiesta hatch atleast to compete with S-cross. I know it would have not had any breath-taking numbers but still would have helped them maintain their strength areas and what FORD is known for. Atleast would have been better than diluting the Figo brandname.

Toyota sticking to maruti products, HONDA sleeping, GM already is history, now Ford's future is dicey. Damn!!!

P.S: Thankfully Nissan and Renault have still some fight left in them with the Maginte and Kiger. Hope they taste some success with these & continue here.

Last edited by SoumenD : 30th April 2021 at 20:59.
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Old 30th April 2021, 21:12   #10
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Default re: Ford India's future plans | Will it stick around in India?

Cross posting what I said in the 'Way forward for Ford India' thread.

Quote:
Originally Posted by fiat_tarun View Post
I see this as a positive move. Overall for Ford, with manufacturing and development in Brazil now closed, India is the perfect location to lead the BX car development. If they decide to exit India as well, then their whole B car platforms are at risk. There is no other region that can take this up without additional investment.

Additionally Ford India has already proven it's capability in manufacturing with exports to developed markets like the US and with the PLI scheme this would make even more sense for Ford to maximize exports. Maybe make the Bronco in India and reduce the 2 year waiting period for the US as well as launch it here (*wishful thinking*)

Quote:
Originally Posted by LaRoca View Post
...

2) Focus on high margin niche segment (+30L).
Disagree here. There just aren't enough volumes in this segment to run a full scale operation. All Ford India need to do or any OEM for that matter is bring in new products regularly. If Nissan who were in the ICU could get so much acceptance for the Magnite, our market loves new products with some differentiation.

Just give us true Ford products and they will see market success - case in point the OG Figo, Ecosport and even the Endeavour.

Last edited by fiat_tarun : 30th April 2021 at 21:13.
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Old 30th April 2021, 23:09   #11
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Default re: Ford India's future plans | Will it stick around in India?

Although of course Ford is the epitome of mass production, they invented it, I must admit I like a lot their cars. They look pretty decent and they are a hoot to drive. Cars like the Mondeo, Fiesta and Focus have some of the best chassis! Topgear magazine proclaimed the Fiesta to have the best manual gearbox. (Which is basically the same as used in the Focus).

So it might be a product for the masses, but you can have a lot of fun with these cars.

I do believe it is a troubling trend where we see several big international companies scaling down their Indian operations.

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Old 30th April 2021, 23:58   #12
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Default re: Ford India's future plans | Will it stick around in India?

I think it's good news as Ford recently opened 2 dealerships in Delhi and one in Goa so they're going to stay India. Plus the exports are bringing in profits for Ford.

If Ford needs to thrive, they need to actually consider feedback from the owners and a few more points from my side:
1. launch the 300Nm EcoBlue 1.5 TDCi in the 8-20 Lakh segments with AT and MT
2. Get the Ford Kuga or Edge. It'll give tough competition to the Koreans and others and fill up the void between EcoSport and Endeavour.
3. The Fiesta hatch can be positioned above the Freestyle to compete with i20 and the likes. Also the fiesta classic can be resurrected by making tweaks as per today's requirements
4. Bring back the OG Figo with raised GC and plonk in the 1.5 EcoBlue diesel
5. Endeavour needs the bi-turbo engine and the old 3.2 TDCi. The 3.2 still does duty in Australia as per the latest emission norms
6. Ford needs to stop shuffling features like a lucky draw. Bring back the sync 3 in all models. Sync 3 can be given as an add-on pack and people will still go for it.(India is the only place in the world where Ford is offering Fly audio)
7. Please make the bronco in India and sell it. It's a much more practical option than the Thar

I agree on the obnoxious taxes part, but if all auto companies file a petition through SIAM and try removing the ridiculous sub 4m rule, tax on engine capacities and reduced taxes on cars, that would be a win-win. Anyway government isn't going to reduce tax on fuels, at least they can do this and it'll still work out for all and we can drive much better cars

Last edited by jithin23 : 1st May 2021 at 00:01.
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Old 1st May 2021, 07:35   #13
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Default re: Ford India's future plans | Will it stick around in India?

This new guy has a reputation for being ruthless. I hear he goes strictly by the numbers & the stats are hardly impressive for Ford India.

I put the odds of Ford staying in India vs exiting India at 50 : 50. On the one hand, they have been around for 2+ decades, have good products, a better reputation than 10 years ago and SUVs / Crossovers that are profitable + selling well (EcoSport, Endeavour).

On the other hand, Ford USA has been ruthless with getting rid of money-losing products & markets. In what was a controversial move, they got rid of smaller cars in the USA, choosing to sell only SUVs, Trucks, Crossovers & the Mustang. Ford also announced that it will stop making cars in Brazil. Ford's American CEO would be fed up of Ford India. In the 1-hour / month that he would spend looking at Ford India's reports, he would only see a poor ROI, a divorce (Ford-Mahindra) and hyper-aggressive competition from the entrenched players like Maruti & Hyundai.

Take a look at our sales charts and you will see that the only way to survive or grow in India is "new products". Maruti, Hyundai, Tata, Kia, Renault etc. are only growing stronger because of fresh new cars. Ford India needs a minimum investment of 10000 - 20000 crore in the coming years for its new cars. Will Ford USA invest? I don't think so. Let's not forget additional investments needed in the 5 - 10 year timeline for a shift to EVs.

If Ford India does stick around, it will only be with minimal new investments and selling cars picked from its global portfolio. Like Ford USA, the product portfolio will be trimmed and they will only be a seller of a fewer number of products with fatter margins (read = SUVs & Crossovers). No chance of any mass market aspirations. If Ford is still in India in 2030, it will be a selling a smaller range of cars in segments that aren't brutal. I don't see any hatchback or compact sedan in Ford India's future. The company - if it maintains a presence here - will be massively downsized.

Poll added to spice up this thread

Last edited by GTO : 1st May 2021 at 07:40.
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Old 1st May 2021, 07:56   #14
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Default Re: Ford India's future plans | Will it stick around in India?

Voted no. Like GTO said there is no ROI for the Indian operations. Two factories at two locations , producing products that are nearing the end of their useful lifecycle.

The investments (both in product and dealer/marketing) to sell a high volume product is astonishing! And that product is not ready yet, will take a minimum 2 to 3 years to hit the road, by which time the market might have moved on again.

I honestly think it will be the Harley day way. Exit and bring some global products via an established player.
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Old 1st May 2021, 08:30   #15
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Default Re: Ford India's future plans | Will it stick around in India?

When people complain about Toyota prices, they need to understand that everyone’s here to make money and it’s very hard to earn money in India. Many companies have succeeded in luring customers by low prices at first and then jacking up prices like Uber/ Ola maybe Zomota too, but automobiles are different. Very rarely will we find customers going back to the brand at higher prices just because the past model was at sold at less than fair value.

When Ford launched the Endeavour in 2016, they made a mistake by targeting the Fortuner and kept it at 30 lakh or so. They should have priced it at least 40 lakh at that time and I am more than sure, it still would have sold. Instead of selling at 30 lakh, with a wait list of couple of months, they could have just one high end variant and ensured a lot of these were available. They could have always launched the lower model (like Trend) at lower prices at a later date.

Companies like Toyota understand this and have always priced their products to make profits. It’s a different matter that they got it wrong with the Liva twins and lost money.

On the matter of Ford, in my opinion, from whatever info we have in the public domain, they should continue exports and keep high margin products loaded to western standards and just get rid of products that bring volumes but drain resources.

If they don’t have enough numbers to run the factory by these products, they need to close and move on.

Last edited by Aditya : 2nd May 2021 at 06:23. Reason: Grammar
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