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Old 11th September 2021, 12:11   #286
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Default Re: Ford to stop manufacturing cars in India

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Originally Posted by svsantosh View Post
One stark comparison that comes to my mind is after 20 years, two very different American efforts (in Asia) failed after pumping in $2B to $2T.

Why none of that mattered, yet they leave behind an expensive array of machinery and infrastructure for photo ops and media houses to wraith about!

Two subsets of people who believed the American' can make a change, and they come out of their desolate homes (or tin + soap box cars )

After the dust settles, guess who has the final laugh!

Ps - I know the pain of Ford guys today more than anyone else here, ask me how? I had a Chevy (can compare it to the Russian effort in 80s, for the sake of analogy, in case your still havent got the drift) ... and they too came, saw, left our land leaving it back in the hands that are used to ruling them for 4 decades.
I get the drift.
In fact I was thinking the very same thing. All these mighty guys have a chip on their shoulder and feel it's easy pickings initially. And then they find that it's a different terrain with a different mindset requiring different skills/arsenal to fight the battle. Somewhere down the line they bleed profusely and decide enough is enough and pack their bags hastily.

Sad though - I drove an Ecosport for close to seven years and absolutely loved it.

Last edited by wilful : 11th September 2021 at 12:12. Reason: added detail
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Old 11th September 2021, 12:23   #287
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Default Re: Ford to stop manufacturing cars in India

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Originally Posted by Sahilrai166 View Post
With the news of Figo automatic launch, EcoSport facelift and Endeavour testing I did not expect Ford to wrap up Indian operations so fast.
Sad! Welcome to the club.

Chevrolet broke the news about their exit after sending out invites to the media drive of the second-gen Beat. They had a Beat-based sub-4m sedan and crossover in the pipeline.

Back in 2014, I was picking between Ritz, Beat and Ford Classic. It looks like no matter what I picked, it had a limited life span. Ritz discontinued. Chevy exited. Classic discontinued and Ford exited. It's either me or I'm good at finding value in underappreciated vehicles, which eventually end up dead.

I'm used to living with discontinued vehicles.

Refer my experience about owning discontinued cars: Buying And Owning A Discontinued Vehicle Or Brand (Buying & owning a discontinued car or brand | How much of a hassle?)

@Mods: Consider bumping up this thread: https://www.team-bhp.com/forum/india...ch-hassle.html (Buying & owning a discontinued car or brand | How much of a hassle?)
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Old 11th September 2021, 12:50   #288
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Default Re: Ford to stop manufacturing cars in India

Extremely naive comments from few folks here. How can anyone attribute ford’s failure to be successful in India to Government Taxes and policies? One member even went to state that Kia and Hyundai should be penalised for producing unsafe cars! And another post blamed the Indian customers for not warming up to Ford better!
I mean, what blind defence!
Has Ford turned around 5 star crash test cars left and right? Or has Ford suffered because they heavily invested in diesels and longer than 4m cars? Neither! Ford literally invented the under 4m cross over segment and were one of the first movers there.

Let’s be clear, what other manufacturers did or didn’t do has absolutely no bearing on the way Ford managed it’s own business. I said this in another post in this same thread, each time Ford came up with a good car, the indian customers have received them quite well. The ikon, the older Figo, the Fiesta classic were all reasonably successful cars. The Endeavour continues to have its decent run till date, I don’t think any other car in that segment has survived against the Fortuner. Gloster, Alturas, Santa Fe, Kodiaq and so many others have not remotely performed as well as the Endeavour.

Fusion, the 2nd Gen Fiesta failed due to many reasons, optimistic pricing being one of them. In fact, I thought Ford should have tried harder with the 2nd Gen fiesta. Why did they give up so easily? Couldn’t they have redone something about the car or reduced it’s prices marginally to make it more competitive? Other than these two, the recent Aspire twins did not receive good response since they did not stand for the qualities that customers associated with Fords and neither they were feature rich like the Koreans. People still go out and buy Polos and Rapids, don’t they? So there is still a small customer base for fords, VWs and Skodas.

Ford leaving india is a clear strategic board room decision in Detroit, they have exited many markets like Australia, Brazil and now India. They want to focus on North America where they are absolutely sure of their profitability and do not want to incur capital expenditures elsewhere in the world. It’s as simple as that.

Last edited by motorworks : 11th September 2021 at 12:52.
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Old 11th September 2021, 12:52   #289
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Default Re: Ford to stop manufacturing cars in India

So many Ecosport ads have come up on olx, most of them posted on 10th september, when this news broke.
Looks like people are panic selling.
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Old 11th September 2021, 13:00   #290
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Default Re: Ford to stop manufacturing cars in India

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If Management comes up with wrong strategies, and if their cost structure is sky-high, what can the Government do? Others are thriving, right! At the beginning they give them large tracts of land at throw away prices, and that's the best they can stretch to help (Laying out the red carpet). Then market forces take over
The market forces. Exactly what I am talking about. Maruti and the Korean one. Tell me one (or two cars ) from their stable which are outright drivers' cars. The ones that were have been duds on the market. Ours is not a mature automobile market.


In any economy, and what is happening here in India with the duo-poly - does not reflect well for the economy. A thriving and open economy will have more manufacturers coming in - not running away. From my own experience as a business person, it has become much more difficult to do business from India - that it was a decade or so ago. Our image has taken a beating. Like it or not.
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Old 11th September 2021, 14:56   #291
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Default Re: Ford to stop manufacturing cars in India

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Not nitpicking. But I disagree to this premise of blaming the buyers for the state of affairs. Buyers are buyers and they make up the market.
Oh no, don't get me wrong. I'm not blaming anyone, not buyers as people. But we do have economic and cultural and behavioral limitations as a society, its not a blame but a reality. (AND there is nothing wrong in that, but we need to know it!)

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A thriving and open economy will have more manufacturers coming in - not running away. From my own experience as a business person, it has become much more difficult to do business from India - that it was a decade or so ago. Our image has taken a beating. Like it or not.
You are right, but do you think doing business has become difficult (i.e. more administrative interference?) or just the market, the competition, the buyer focus on cheap, the disrupting aggregators, the Chinese etc.?. I sincerely believe it is the latter.

These manufacturers set foot in India post liberalization to test and capture the market, but were unable to capture a considerable/ survivable market share; at some point they had to say enough and this is one such point. I don't think anything has changed for worse in India's environment but changes are too slow for the non-Asian manufacturers to breakeven in a reasonable time frame.

Whoever believes that this market and society is normal for auto manufacturers to invest, look again at the market shares and the sheer number of cars Suzuki alone sells. Cars for us are an investment, a symbol, large part of our earnings, so everyone wants to play very safe and buy a Maruti. We stretch ourselves to buy cars and don't want the hassle of expensive repairs thereon, then the choices are obvious! you'll get to the same answer anywhere in the world if that is the decision making process.

There used to be jokes, most Indians love to buy only Honda and Toyota even in the US/ Canada.

If Ford offered no value to this market, why are we even bothered and discussing here.
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Old 11th September 2021, 15:08   #292
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Default Re: Ford to stop manufacturing cars in India

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Truly unbelievable circumstances. But such is life. I hope you guys can enjoy the car for years to come without much fuss.

And all those salespeople. Yes, I truly feel sorry for them. So many of them will lose their jobs and probably won't be able to find a new one for quite a while. Let's hope they won't have to suffer much.
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Old 11th September 2021, 15:09   #293
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Default Re: Ford to stop manufacturing cars in India

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You are right, but do you think doing business has become difficult (i.e. more administrative interference?) or just the market, the competition, the buyer focus on cheap, the disrupting aggregators, the Chinese etc.?. I sincerely believe it is the latter.

.
From my perspective and my business, our image has taken a beating worldwide - and thus has become more difficult to do business.

But coming back to Ford, we at team-bhp lament its departure -- not because it provided value. Or Not. But because we know it as a brand that provided driver-focused cars. This is what sets us team-bhpians apart from the junta. At least that is the way I see it, friend.
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Old 11th September 2021, 15:12   #294
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Default Re: Ford to stop manufacturing cars in India

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Ford leaving india is a clear strategic board room decision in Detroit, they have exited many markets like Australia, Brazil and now India. They want to focus on North America where they are absolutely sure of their profitability and do not want to incur capital expenditures elsewhere in the world. Itís as simple as that.
Add the 3rd largest auto market Japan along with Indonesia to that list. Clearly the problem is with Ford not with the market.

A final unintended nail in the coffin might have come from govt of India when it announced quite recently that PLI scheme is only for green vehicles (so called).
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Old 11th September 2021, 16:57   #295
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Default Re: Ford to stop manufacturing cars in India

Companies in India just seem to do weird things which don't make any sense.

Toyota: Could have really done astonishingly well if it had just facelifted Etios sedan and done up some work on it's interior. It legit could've given Dzire a run for it's money. A stable, safe, tried & tested, spacious Toyota sedan with a fuel efficiency of 25kmpl in diesel. What more could one ask? Just had to make a decent facelift and make it look like on the lines of the previous gen Honda City/Corolla and it would've been a hot seller doing decent numbers.

Renault:
Logan:Same story as Etios. It was a mechanically well-sorted car with ample cabin space. Could've really used a facelift. An honest, hard-working and robust car.
Duster: The car that started the compact SUV segment in India couldn't be upgraded to the international version. Instead Renault focused on senseless things like Lodgy and Captur.

Honda: Thinks of itself as a supreme leader, but is not. Give us a the WR-v with a diesel AT? NO! Give us a Creta competitor from your global portfolio? NO! Give us a turbo petrol hot hatch? NO!

Last edited by DeepakS : 11th September 2021 at 16:58.
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Old 11th September 2021, 17:32   #296
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A proud Freestyle owner from past two years, this is really heartbreaking for me. And as most of us here have pointed out, this was definitely a management failure. I remember one of my roommates while I was in Chennai (around 4 years back) used to work at Ford Corp. And he told me one fine evening the plight of some of the most brilliant workforce over there. He clearly mentioned that they won't be able to survive here due the lack of senior management's attitude towards work. If anyone proposed a change for any of the models and if someone in the higher management refuses, no one could ever dare to make that right. And I guess the same things have been reflected in every models they have released over the years.

And I again say it, they had all the time to make it right. The Indian market is just getting warmed up for better, safer and driver friendly cars. They could have still corrected few things. But, it's really bad they ignored the opportunity once again.

Well my Freestyle was my first and possibly the last Ford anyone every owned in my whole family. Hope I'll be able to take good care of it as long as it'll be possible.
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Old 11th September 2021, 18:31   #297
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Default Re: Ford to stop manufacturing cars in India

A global auto giant established in a growing market post market liberalization for 25 years, having been known to create a new segment and ruling it without competitors for a good 2 to 3 years has to draw the curtains on accounts of sales, losses and market share. And the blame is now on the Government policies, Indian mentality and market dynamics. Ford, you clearly are to be blamed and framed for this debacle. I doubt if these have been any different for the other players.

Ford took the right steps, too little and a little too late.
1. When their image had taken a hit for being high maintenance, they roped in Prakash Raj with their "Kuch alag si family wali feeling" campaign. Wonder where that family feeling goes now. The image had taken such a dip that Ford, being the only brand to do so, could not paint it clean, with the annual service costs mentioned right at the bottom of every brochure.

2. About the Figo Automatic's (1.2L) launch timing, the lesser said, the better. If they had the guns, why fire it at the time of withdrawing. And if they had to withdraw, again, why fire. For a company making losses to the tune of billions, a product launch event just before wrapping up makes no sense on any front.
Perhaps, Ford tried to garner some bookings to finish off the 1.2L engine of the Figo Trio and the TC stock of the Ecosport, both of them being slow movers.

3. The Ecosport facelift was also a late entry and Ford lost its segment creator advantage. They had a good 3 years time to upgrade a product which had created a segment and taken the market by storm. Worse still, their feature list was never stable. The SE variant was launched just for the sake of it. How can a company remove the USP of its highest selling product? Result, the Ecosport today bids adieu to a market that it once created.

4. Product positioning and sales aggression.Other than the Ecosport and the Endeavour, in the current line up, the only offering Ford had were
  1. Figo
  2. Botched up & black-clad Figo(Freestyle)
  3. Dicky wali Figo(Aspire)
All of them having the same engine and transmission combinations. Even when they had the Figo twins with 1.5L+TC combo, the marketing and sales never wanted to sell that car. It was more like if you know about it, come and we will give you one. Lackluster approach on features introduction did not help either. How long do you think you can survive on your past glory and R&D when your competition is bringing in features from a couple of segments above?

5. Marketing & Branding. This is where I think Ford lost. Maruti has Varun Dhawan to sell S-Presso (or perhaps all the cars in Arena), Ranvir Singh for Ciaz. Hyundai has Shahrukh. Toyota ropes in Ayushman Khurana for the Urban Cruiser, which is not even their own product. MG barge in with Benedict while Tiger makes a Seltos badass. Heck, even used car brand of Maruti, the True Value, is marketed by Rajkumar Rao. All these show that the companies want to sell their products. And the best Ford could come up with was a TVC with Prakash Raj, and that too for an brand image improvement of being perceived as an high maintenance car brand. Perhaps the Aspire was endorsed by Farhan Akhtar IIRC.

6. Negative and senseless campaigning of the NCAP star rating. While almost all their competitors (Brezza, Nexon, XUV300) have Global NCAP rating, Ford tried to sound God like with their "Beyond 5 Stars" campaign.

Funnily enough, as I write this, one of my very close friends, owner of a first gen Figo Diesel, in immaculate condition after 98K on the odo, rang me up to get his car evaluated at Nexa while he is traveling, to get the best possible rates. He has been planning for S-Cross since long and wanted to purchase it only after his sister's wedding in December. Guess, the news changed his mind.

Catching the drift from one previous posts, looks like 20 something years is just about the right time for the Americans to exit.

My wishes to all the dealers, employees, vendors, owners and everybody associated with Ford India for their future. Tough times ahead of them.
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Old 11th September 2021, 19:20   #298
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It is very sad that the iconic Ford will stop manufacturing cars in its 2 manufacturing plants in India. They were selling very good products like Ecosport, Figo, Freestyle, Aspire, Endeavor in India. Their design, ride & handling were probably the best among all the mass market car manufacturers in India. Yet their sales numbers were very low. Ford sells more cars from many single dealers in US than the whole of India. Obviously it was never going to be sustainable with such numbers. Unfortunately majority of Indian car buyers suffer from herd mentality. They go for Suzukis with out comparing the specs, design and engineering of the plethora of products available from other car manufacturers. No offence to Suzuki owners, but it sells cheap tin boxes with low safety ratings and horrible designs. Look at the design of Alto and the earlier design of Swift Dzires. Once upon a time Suzuki was selling 4 or 5 generations of Alto simultaneously in India in various names. The latest Swift gets ZERO Star in Latin NCAP. Unless the Indian buyer makes an educated buying decision, many car manufacturers in India are going to close their factories. It is not sustainable with such numbers, more so after the COVID setbacks and the perceived investments required for switching to electric vehicles.

Very sad development for Indian car industry and consumers.
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Old 11th September 2021, 19:29   #299
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Too much 'analysis paralysis' in this thread. Ford couldn't sell what the Indian buyer wants. Does the Indian buyer know what he/she want? That's philosophical realm though.

Maybe the market is right and Indians punished ford for their incompetency. Maybe Ford's engineering marvel, just like the Ford Fusion, went unappreciated: donkey, camphor something something. The truth must be somewhere in-between.

And those Ford owners, it's not like your cars are going to stop functioning from today. There's still Lancers, old Ikons, Spark, Taveras plying on our roads: you can find OEM spares as well as cheap low quality alternatives in the market; if you are in a city and know a competent garage, problem solved: and this after a few years when ford ASS starts to become lazy/incompetent. There's lot of 1.5 tdcis sold, there will be a market for the spares and the vendors would be selling them as long as there is a demand.

Cheer up, people. Maybe this will be the last of the ICE powered cars that we will be driving, make it a memorable experience than to lose sleep bothering too much about the resale.
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Old 11th September 2021, 19:49   #300
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On other hand, is this the right time to buy a Ford? Showrooms will be desperate to clear off their stocks. But will buying a Ford now be a good decision? Surely spare parts should be available considering the already sold Ford cars. But how long will be a question and if one plans to keep the car for 5 years, will it be a good buy now? I understand there won't be much to think when selling the car after 5 years but just want to get opinions on this thought.
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