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Old 10th September 2021, 11:23   #196
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Default Re: Ford to stop manufacturing cars in India

A sad moment indeed. Just a wish they had stayed. Or at least their Mondeo might have stopped my upgrade from a Ford to a Skoda, who knows.

But, I guess it's time now for an Indian take on our emotional goodbye.

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Old 10th September 2021, 11:40   #197
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Originally Posted by Gokuljayaraj View Post
From Ford’s perspective it makes no sense to stay invested in India. The average middle class income has not gone up as expected 10 years ago. Economic growth is down and the pandemic has only made things worse. While many graduate from the lower class to the middle class, the transition from the lower middle class to upper middle or upper class is not happening. With high taxes on the “luxury product” that is a car, the first thing middle class people do is look at the price of the car and it’s relative size. Ford will never win on that front. It is understandable why Ford decided to give up rather than bleed further money. It will be inevitable that there will be more companies leaving if this pandemic does not end globally soon. It’s a matter of when not if.

I disagree,
Average car purchase price has gone up significantly in last decade, share of <3.6m, 3.7-4m, 4-4.4m has skewed towards longer / pricer segment.

Ford only is responsible for its demise, Hyundai, Renault, TATA have grown well only due to their product strategy and India centric approach in the same period. KWID, Triber, Kiger, Vitara, Baleno, Venue, Sonet (even Figo 1st gen) are India first products, developed for Indian customers and their numbers speak for themselves.

Poor product lineup, poor facelift approach, weak marketing (never able to connect with masses), poor planning (set-up capacity of 4L units and utilising just 80k) are the reasons for their current state.

Last edited by Asoon : 10th September 2021 at 11:42.
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Old 10th September 2021, 11:45   #198
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It shouldn't be shocking to see Ford shutting shop in India when in their home turf they have been ruthless with axing their majority portfolio to focus only on SUVs and pickups. Ford is happy selling F-150, Explorer, Expedition, etc and in the coming days will churn a big profit from F-150 Lightning too. Plus fat margins from full-size SUVs under the Lincoln brand are another win-win so it seems prudent to Ford to focus their resources and money where they see a profit. Honestly, that's a clear example of short-sightedness. Ford India lost a tremendous scope of selling SUVs and crossovers which Ford had aplenty in its global portfolio combined that with its range of engine options. But sadly they preferred handing over the segment on a silver platter to the likes of Hyundai, Kia, and MG. On a side note as a typical Ford owner, it would be hard to find solace in Korean or Chinese (masquerading as Britishers) offerings. Thus could be a blessing in disguise for compact SUVs and crossovers from VAG twins, Jeep, Tata, and Mahindra.
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Old 10th September 2021, 11:53   #199
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Originally Posted by CrAzY dRiVeR View Post
Unfortunately, this is official.

Ford has stopped manufacturing vehicles for the Indian market. Only exports to continue. Sharing the full press release -
It's interesting to note that Ford is planning to make available services and spare parts for cars sold, whilst only releasing iconic models here in India, at least for the foreseeable future.

Profitability comes from services and spares NOT from new car sales. Further this is backloaded to the the 3-15 years tenure of vehicle life. I would venture to say that maybe Ford's belt tightening measures, factors this in. They are focussing on the profitable part of the business.

New car sales, allow the company to keep the services pipeline running in the long term. The hard-nosed question is why would they need to think beyond 15 years, right now?

At the same time making iconic models available reinforces brand recall-essential for a toehold in the market.

So overall, it's a smart decision, when one understand business is done with the head - not the heart. Emotion has no place in this.

As vehicles get scrapped, I see two options for the service network - Re-tool/re-train and join hands with another manufacturer Or shut operations.

I would think, Ford Dealers would prefer the former route - simply because it preserves their original investments in land, core workshop infrastructure, and accumulated years of technical experience.

And who knows what will happen in 10 years time? Maybe Ford will see value then in coming back to India. If they do, the decision to sell iconic models during this period will reduce buyer's anxiety.

Only a crystal ball might tell.

Last edited by joybhowmik : 10th September 2021 at 12:04.
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Old 10th September 2021, 11:57   #200
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My first car was a Ford. The josh machine, as it was better known. It was Josh behind the wheel and more Josh when I had to get it fixed. Ford got much better after this so I will give them that credit. I don't know who is to blame for this. Its not like they don't have cars to sell. Was it lack of interest of the top brass or lack of support from the parent. I think its the latter. Head over to Ford UK and give me a good reason why cars like the Fiesta, Focus, Puma and Kuga can't sell in India? Attractive, well built and specified cars. Is it due to cost to manufacture? I doubt it. You put in so much investment in India and you can't make it work. How is that even possible! It feels like Mahindra managed to gain from the merger more than Ford, else I don't see how a Sony system made it into a Mahindra. The Ford Sony partnership is over a decade old. Anyway, the road has come to a sad end for Ford in India. I wish there is someone who can tell us what really happened behind those closed doors at Ford.

To end, my Clxi 1.6 (me in the brown shirt) along side the fastest and finest from Italy, a 1.6l Gtx. I had a soft corner for the Italian but ended up with an American. I have no regrets. It had a free flow exhaust and gave me thrills like I've never experienced before (In acceleration as well as required stopping distance). If you wanted to prove to someone that you had balls of steel, this was the car to drive.
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Old 10th September 2021, 12:08   #201
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I just remembered it was 09/09/2013 when I had walked into SC Ford in Malad and booked our EcoSport without even test-driving the engine we were picking. And on 09/09/2021 Ford India decided to quit India operations. Quite a big coincidence!!

Will always have fond memories of the EcoSport, which really gave Ford a 2nd chance in their India innings. And I sold my car last month, don’t know whether to be happy or sad?!
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Old 10th September 2021, 12:18   #202
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I believe that I live one life so live it to the fullest. If you like something, buy it. I started my car purchase journey with a Matiz in '99. Daewoo closed down and I sold the Matiz for a song and bought a Palio S10 in '03 not because Daewoo closed down but because I always wanted the 1.6 Palio after driving my friends 1.6.
I then sold the S10 for a good price and picked up the Baleno(old) in '06 as I wanted a sedan which drove well and was reasonable. Maruti replaced the Baleno by the SX4 in '07 but I kept the Baleno and eventually sold it for a song in '11 to replace it with a Vento. In '17 I replaced the Vento with the Ecosport Ecoboost which was a unanimous choice by the family after test driving the Ciaz, City, Brezza, BRV etc. apart from the Ecosport. Just opening and closing the doors of the cars anbe able to drive peacefully as well.d the overall feel inside the cars when moving was enough for my wife and daughter to choose the Ecosport over the others. The indestructible feel. In '18 I picked a second car, a Baleno CVT for the convenience only and so that my daughter would be able to drive peacefully as well.
So, in a nutshell, I bought all new cars, no pre-owned. You would have guessed that I would have lost a substantial amount with every replacement. While, I would accept the total loss is sizeable, the best part is the loss on the Palio was the least at 29%. On the rest of the cars, the loss ranged from 60-80%.
I am sure that, after seeing the offers for my Ecosport, one as late as today (after the announcement), the resale will be healthy for a healthy car. I've had about 5 offers in the past month or so as I was planning to upgrade and I have received repeated calls to finalise but have gone slow on the upgrade for reasons known to me.
So I would say that if you like a car and can afford it, buy it. If you can't afford it, don't buy it.

Last edited by Floyd de Souza : 10th September 2021 at 12:19. Reason: To close the post
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Old 10th September 2021, 12:18   #203
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This Manorama article goes through the history of Ford in India with some nice photographs of news paper cuttings across these years. Those interested, please do check it out.

The article is in Malayalam though.
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Old 10th September 2021, 12:25   #204
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Some of us are talking about cars from Ford being Fun to Drive, Enthusiastic as if that's the only criteria to buy cars. Some are even blaming Hyundai and Govt for Ford's loss!

Did Hyundai prevent Ford from giving features on their "Best" handling cars? Do features affect a car's handling in any way? Did Govt prevent Ford from coming up with a compact SUV like the Duster/Creta bigger than Ecosport? Did Maruti Suzuki prevent Ford from designing a sedan like Ciaz/Yaris? Did Tata prevent Ford from launching next generation Figo?

The fact is Ford wanted Indians to buy whatever they gave them instead of giving what they wanted. Most wanted newer cars with new features, better fuel efficiency, low maintenance. Ford had none of these. But Ford focussed only on the Ecosport which was the only hit model. It wasn't going to last long.

Even now one can understand the mindset of Ford. It is planning to bring cars like Mustang to India! Who on earth thinks like that?

Last edited by CarNerd : 10th September 2021 at 12:29.
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Old 10th September 2021, 12:36   #205
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An emotional heartfelt goodbye to that wonderful, wonderful 1.5L, 3-cylinder, 121PS Dragon heart under the 2018 EcoSport facelift's hood. What an engine!

Out of all the petrol cars I have driven in my life, it was easily the best in terms of handling and performance. Yes, it even beat the pants off the Honda City's much-famed i-VTEC.

The only Ford I ever owned was the 2018 EcoSport Trend (named "Falkor"). All her perceived negatives - limited cabin space, limited legroom, ankle hitting steering column, limited rear room space, that very cranky non-SYNC HU, etc. - immediately went out of the window once you slotted the key in and cranked up the engine. From it's "jet plane"-esque idling at low RPMs to it's smooth takeoff in lower gears and hitting 90-100 in no time (I drove her home at those speeds in 3rd gear on delivery day and completely forgot to upshift, and she never asked me to either!) to it's superbly precise handling and razor sharp braking, it was a package worth remembering. Not complete, yes, but a very memorable one.

Ford to stop manufacturing cars in India-img_20181025_125919.jpg

I have always said since then - in the 12L CSUV range, for a petrol, go for the EcoSport.

Falkor saved my life no less than 4 times in the short period that I owned her. I seriously doubt any other car (even double it's price) could have saved me in at least 2 of those near-misses. Sadly I had to let her go because of my severe back problem which made driving an MT increasingly difficult & the need of more driving seat comfort. If Ford had an option in the Creta's range, even with the shared 1.5L Dragon of the 2018 EcoSport, I would have picked up it's automatic version with both eyes shut instead of going for the Creta SX IVT.

The only second car of my life which I had let go with a heavy heart and which I miss till today (the other being my 2012 Honda City).

How I wish Ford's management could have been more pro-active, especially after the EcoSport's tremendous success upon it's launch. The market was theirs to command from then, but instead Hyundai, Maruti, Tata and then Kia came in and cashed in on the trend which was actually kickstarted by Ford.

A sad day, indeed, for driving enthusiasts on a budget.

Last edited by RavenAvi : 10th September 2021 at 12:49.
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Old 10th September 2021, 12:47   #206
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Disclaimer: This is purely my opinion and thoughts. This is not ment to hurt anyone. Please correct me if I'm wrong with my analysis.

I find it strange how so many people are in shock over Ford exiting India. I mean, wasn't it obvious? Their entire lineup was quite old and there was not even a roadmap with good product launches. I don't want to come out as a Ford hater, In fact my first car was a pre-owned Ikon 1.6 rocam. I absolutely adore that car. But if I have to buy a Ford today, apart from Endeavour and Ecosport, there is not even one good product from Ford. People might argue that Aspire and Figo are good products, but for the same price Altroz is much bigger and more premium. I really wish they came up with a Creta and Altroz competition. They would've surely sold good numbers, Imagine a Fiesta hatchback with current diesel engine. If Tata motors can get back in the game after launching good products, especially after screwing customers over and over, it should be as easy as eating pie for Ford to bounce back with just 2 good products. For people saying Jeep would be next, I think once Jeep launches the sub 4 meter suv, their sales are gonna go up. Especially since Citroen just like Jeep is also owned by Stellantis. So there's obviously gonna be parts sharing just like Kia and Hyundai. I'm really worried about VAG group, while they have the perfect recipe to make a successful car, they always manage to screw that by insane pricing nad with 2.0, there's been many reports that the products are sub-par. I have no clue if that's true as I haven't seen the Kushaq in person.
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Old 10th September 2021, 12:50   #207
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While there are many factors that are at play in Fords demise (Including Govt. regulations), there is no doubt that Ford made quite a few mistakes along the way. The new Fiesta (After classic), Not bringing in Kuga equivalent, Too much attention to Figo twins (Should have been culled long back!). After the the success of EcoSport they should have read the writing on the wall that the tastes of the customers are changing to CSUV/SUVs. That is their strength in US and they should have stuck to that. Heck Isuzu sells models of one variant!. Well built CSUV/SUVs/Trucks would have done the trick but guess Ford management through/smelled different.

But given the current scenario its a smart decision. Even in its home market the sales are coming from the F150 and there is huge demand for MACH E and Electric F150. Better cut losses and concentrate on the home market by preparing a warchest for the onslaught from Tesla Truck, Rivian and GM. Our regulators are changing rules every year. First BS6, then Electrification by 2030 and now FlexFuels. There is no point in developing engines for these when electric is the future and you are not selling enough.

I forsee Honda and Datsun to close shop soon. While Ford had a good global portfolio, the same cannot be said of Honda.Its just dull!! Hope Nissan takes the Ford cue and culls Datsun. Anyways the sales are coming in from Magnite. One thing they could do is pull a fast one on Tata by launching Electric Magnite using the mature tech from Leaf.

If VW brings its electric portfolio sooner the better (5 years TL) else they too will have to exit. I have serious doubts as to how well Tesla will do here given that they already have issues with the taxes and rules. Will they water down their design to "suit Indian tastes and values" ? or stick to their core engineering principles and risk being a niche player like Apple in the sea of Chinese mobiles companies and eventually exit! Because someday there will be a electric tin can for cheap from the market leader with 500kms!.

/end of rant/

Last edited by rascalangel : 10th September 2021 at 12:54.
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Old 10th September 2021, 12:50   #208
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Nothing but sweet memories. Thank you!
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Old 10th September 2021, 12:52   #209
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It wasn't an unexpected news. I was discussing it with my wife for last few months. It will definitely increase the spare parts cost and service charges. Till now periodic service charges were around INR 5000. As far as resale value is concerned, I don't think I will ever sell my Ecosport. Suddenly it has become valueable for me. Sad to hear the news though, but thanks to Tata and Mahindra we have indigenous quality manufacturers now.
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Old 10th September 2021, 13:16   #210
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Okay, so while I understand this is a sad news for Indian automotive sector and automobile enthusiasts, I believe we also would agree that the decision was hinging for long on a call from Detroit and Indian management was simply delaying the inevitable.

Ford has had a history of opening and ceasing many many manufacturing facilities across the globe, just that their investment in India was more recent one and the current global EV boom also posed a big challenge for their strategy. With a mere 20% capacity utilisation, their Indian plants were never going to be profitable. And those who are currently centring over their global portfolio, please remember that a lot of those models are LHD only and as a matter of fact, Indian plants were catering mostly to their RHD markets specific models. Now, I assume that the manufacturing from India will be diversified across their many plants in SE Asia, which will boost the capacity utilisation of these plants. So consolidation of business operations is a good thinking for Ford overall.

What does this means for a Ford owner like me? Well, first - I think the mass sold products like Figo, EcoSport and Endeavour will continue to be supported through FASS for quite some time. In parallel, I would expect spare parts import ancillaries to also contribute to the support ecosystem for Ford. These ancillaries have been doing this for decades now, forget GM, remember niche brands buyers like Mitsubishi also depend heavily on this network. As a buyer of a niche model of Endeavour 2.2 4wd MT, I would like to procure a spare set of clutch, flywheel and similar model specific spares from Ford for now, and I believe the other common parts with 3.2 will have enough supplies in the market for many many years to come. So, all in all, I am already over the sad news, and have a plan ready for my vehicle, on which I am not giving up immediately. This car has been able to build so many amazing memories for me and will continue to do so for years to come.
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