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Old 14th September 2021, 14:42   #361
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Default Re: Ford to stop manufacturing cars in India

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Originally Posted by dragonfire View Post
Apparently, almost every carmaker with international repute seems to fail to market their cars in the Indian market. Does Maruti recruit their marketing personnel from a different pool?
It's not just "marketing personnel", but the "brand equity" that makes a difference. Pulling out old taglines to explain further.

Ford - Kuch alag si family wali feeling
Maruti - India comes home in a Maruti Suzuki

Hope you get the difference.

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Originally Posted by dragonfire View Post
You can't position something as something else. When a donkey is what the market wants, one cannot take his horse to the market and position and market it as a donkey.
If you don't know to sell a horse and explain why it is better than a donkey, you had better not be in the market and stop complaining about why people are buying donkeys. I rest my case.

Last edited by pannags : 14th September 2021 at 14:44.
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Old 14th September 2021, 15:09   #362
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Default Re: Ford to stop manufacturing cars in India

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Originally Posted by pannags View Post
It's not just "marketing personnel", but the "brand equity" that makes a difference. Pulling out old taglines to explain further.

Ford - Kuch alag si family wali feeling
Maruti - India comes home in a Maruti Suzuki

Hope you get the difference.
Both the tag lines were written by people who were recruited from the same talent pool. Not just Maruti and Ford, but a host of other companies. Including the ones who left already and the ones who will leave in a few years.
Quote:
If you don't know to sell a horse and explain why it is better than a donkey, you had better not be in the market and stop complaining about why people are buying donkeys. I rest my case.
The same way how Suzuki couldn't explain to the Americans how their cars are better than the others and had to exit the market? Maybe they couldn't find a catchy tagline.

When the market does not want horses, no tag lines like "India comes home in a horse" will help.
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Old 14th September 2021, 15:09   #363
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Default Re: Ford to stop manufacturing cars in India

Some are blaming government, some are blaming public, some are blaming FORD, some are even blaming Maruti! A quote came to my mind when I saw all these blame games.

"It's always easy to blame others. When you blame others, you give up your power to change"

It is indeed sad to see FORD go. My heart goes out to all those who are going to lose their job with absolutely no security or assurance. FADA says there are close to 40000 who are indirectly working for FORD. Hope something comes up for them.
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Old 14th September 2021, 15:54   #364
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Default Re: Ford to stop manufacturing cars in India

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Originally Posted by pannags View Post
Ford - Kuch alag si family wali feeling
Now it should be read as:

Ford - (Kuch alag si family) wali feeling

Translation (not sure if it is correct): Feeling of a different family (not our family)
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Old 14th September 2021, 16:02   #365
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Default Re: Ford to stop manufacturing cars in India

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Originally Posted by RaghuVis View Post
Some are blaming government, some are blaming public, some are blaming FORD, some are even blaming Maruti! A quote came to my mind when I saw all these blame games.

"It's always easy to blame others. When you blame others, you give up your power to change"

It is indeed sad to see FORD go. My heart goes out to all those who are going to lose their job with absolutely no security or assurance. FADA says there are close to 40000 who are indirectly working for FORD. Hope something comes up for them.
True that. I'd just add that it's a business decision to quit a market - if Ford sees more value somewhere else, they decided to focus there. Just like consumers have decided to buy where they see more value. As simple as that. If Ford has left us, we have Kia/MG who have entered the same market. It's all business decisions end of the day. So let's not get too carried away
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Old 14th September 2021, 16:19   #366
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Default Re: Ford to stop manufacturing cars in India

Good bye Legend. End of an era. I wish Ford continued their B-platform models. I understand why they have taken this decision. Lack of platform updates in the planning for developing markets due to their refocus on trucks, inability to cheap out on build quality, complacent attitude, management decisions from HQ which mostly were export centric than Indian market, lack of bling features that many Indians covet and no matter their marketing could not remove public perception that they are unreliable and cost a bomb to maintain.

Had they put in efforts with proper marketing strategy and launched Kuga/Escape, modernized Figo twins, Puma/Ecosport update, Fiesta hatchback they could have had the volumes they were looking for. Upgrade cycle by Ford enthusiasts from Figo - Fiesta - Ecosport/Puma - Kuga/Escape - Edge/Endeavor/Ranger would have sustained their operations. Instead they focused manufacturing with view of exports and sadly on models like Figo and Ecosport which do not generate required volumes. Anyways with the approaching EV storm, they current factories which are already suffering with over-capacity, would lie more idle in the future.
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Old 14th September 2021, 21:15   #367
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Default Re: Ford to stop manufacturing cars in India

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Originally Posted by dragonfire View Post
1. Of course I agree that Fords didn't sell well because they didn't give what the Indian buyers wanted - Marutis.

2. I feel that the Ecosport is a better car than the Brezza, the Figo a better car than the Swift and the Endeavor a better car than the Fortuner. But yes, that is not what the market wants.

3. And I am glad that Ford chose to exit the market than rebrand shoddy Maruti cars like the Baleno and Brezza to stay in the market.
1. I am not sure why your posts are directed at Maruti and your statement seems to suggest that all cars sold in India are Marutis. But I assume its a generic statement so will ignore it as is.

2. And in the same way I feel that XUV300 is a better car than the Ecosport, Polo is a better car than the Figo. Haven't driven either the Endeavour or the Fortuner so can't comment about them.

3. There was another way to get more sales instead of rebranding like you suggest, update existing/introduce newer models.
Just check out the competition in virtual/real world, listing out some names just for reference, based on prices :

- Figo : Swift, Baleno, i20, Polo, Jazz, Ignis, Tiago, i10
- Ecosport : Brezza, XUV300, Nexon, Venue, Sonet, S-Cross
- Endeavour : Fortuner

Including the sales from Jan 21 and Jan 20 when the affect of the pandemic was low :
Credits to Providers : AutoPunditz : Car Sales Jan 2021

What would also help is to keep and respect our car buyers in mind, namely :
- Location : ease of sales and service since cars aren't sold only in cities
- Cost of sales and service : everyone has their limitations and whatever meets their requirements better gets sold.
- Preferences : exterior and interior look and feel matters, if I don't like how it looks won't buy it regardless of how good it is.
For example I don't like how the Figo looks from the front, rear is acceptable but overall the looks of Polo, Altroz, Baleno, Swift, i20 are better.
- Coverage : the service coverage needs to be across, else if you are restricted to T1/T2 cities only then don't expect a lot of sales

Everything aside if you really want to know why something sells and why something doesn't, experience it in person.

Examples :
1. I am not a fan of Hyundai, don't like the how the new i20 looks on the outside but I wasn't sure why it was popular until a friend bought the 1.2 MT Asta. I sat inside for a short drive and realized why. It felt premium(relatively) and futuristic from the rest of the competition, it offers that unique feeling and if you think about it that has been the USP of Hyundai India. That's how they competed with the Marutis. I remember when the i10 was launched, the interiors felt upmarket than what was being available with the Marutis. They kept updating it, kept introducing new models and see where they are. Their service network is very good too.
Look at the evolution of i20, first gen didn't do very well, they kept improving and introducing newer models, Elite series was good and look at where they are now.

2. Also not a fan of Tata, but the Altroz did shake up the premium hatch sales. With all the issues revolving around the product and Tata's image they managed to take a significant market share from well established cars like the i20 and Baleno.


That's how you break the monopoly of a existing and patronized brand, not by blaming people for not buying their stuff.

Last edited by shancz : 14th September 2021 at 21:20. Reason: grammar
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Old 14th September 2021, 22:31   #368
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Default Re: Ford to stop manufacturing cars in India

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Originally Posted by GTO View Post
A little birdie tells me that Ford didn't want to sit on dead stock of thousands of cars or parts. Hence, it intentionally misled the market by running mules of the EcoSport facelift & passing out rumours of the Endeavour Bi-Turbo to some of its dealers.
I am not sure if apart from a handful of the guys at the management level were aware of the plan. It was known for sure, that something big will happen and was supposed to be an announcement by Ford about its future in India but in a positive way. Announcing the launch of updated models and Ranger in the next few weeks but alas, it went the other way. So, the timing was either intentional or the Indian management had hopes till the last moment, we won't know for sure.

It's not uncommon for such companies especially American, to have concurrent but completely different approaches to a problem. Some development costs, like a facelift for Eco sports or ARAI approval for Bi-Turbo engine, this all is peanuts for Ford.

When I first heard about this, felt bad about posting about a newer engine variant on Endeavour but later realized that perhaps some of our members/ readers actually deferred their decision to wait for a Bi-Turbo variant and it turned into a blessing
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Old 14th September 2021, 23:49   #369
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Default Re: Ford to stop manufacturing cars in India

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Originally Posted by Turbanator View Post
I am not sure if apart from a handful of the guys at the management level were aware of the plan. It was known for sure, that something big will happen and was supposed to be an announcement by Ford about its future in India but in a positive way. Announcing the launch of updated models and Ranger in the next few weeks but alas, it went the other way. So, the timing was either intentional or the Indian management had hopes till the last moment, we won't know for sure.

It's not uncommon for such companies especially American, to have concurrent but completely different approaches to a problem. Some development costs, like a facelift for Eco sports or ARAI approval for Bi-Turbo engine, this all is peanuts for Ford.
Exactly, something doesn’t add up actually. A day before the announcement, the major dealer principal here in Calcutta had completely different version. In fact, they were counting the allocations for the upcoming festive season and were dead sure that Ford will launch some new vehicles early next year !!

And now, these few days have passed and I am getting to hear some conflicting news about the announcement. Apparently, there are two lines of thought here. One is selling the Sanand plant and keep the Chennai one to themselves for a shot at a revival and another is keeping both and search for partners for contract manufacturing which they have failed to get one till date. Apparently, Ford was very keen to keep the operations running but they ran out of options.

Even now, a section within the company strongly believes that India is a market which should not be ignored, certainly not when they already have a brand established in a positive way. Let’s see which way the saga goes, either way, the loss is as much as Ford’s as it for the folks who wanted to buy the blue oval or have supported them over the years. Hope floats since they have not exited totally unlike GM or FIAT. But only a few will trust the brand from here on, even if they bring the Mustangs, if only they really keep their word that is !!

Last edited by ABHI_1512 : 15th September 2021 at 00:12.
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Old 15th September 2021, 08:34   #370
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Default Re: Ford to stop manufacturing cars in India

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Originally Posted by GTO View Post
Hence, it intentionally misled the market by running mules of the EcoSport facelift & passing out rumours of the Endeavour Bi-Turbo to some of its dealers.
No harm if Ford did it to keep the excitement alive to help dealers clear stock.

Dealerships are run by businessmen who know how to read a market. They may claim they are surprised, but deep down, each of them knew that Ford was going to pull the plug soon.
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Old 15th September 2021, 08:45   #371
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Default Re: Ford to stop manufacturing cars in India

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Of course I agree that Fords didn't sell well because they didn't give what the Indian buyers wanted - Marutis.

.
Is this why the 15l + ex showroom Creta, Seltos, Hector and Harrier + Safari are doing such great volumes?

They aren't Maruti by any means no?

When did Ford last launch a proper new version of the ecosport? Never, it was always just mostly cosmetic with a decent Ice upgrade.

Where is Ford in the entire 15-30 l bracket? If a Figo customer wants an upgrade they necessarily have to go outside Ford.
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Old 15th September 2021, 09:16   #372
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Default Re: Ford to stop manufacturing cars in India

Meanwhile Toyota says they don't plan to expand further in India

https://m.economictimes.com/industry...w/78117342.cms
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Old 15th September 2021, 09:35   #373
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Default Re: Ford to stop manufacturing cars in India

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As of now, we only have 5 mass-market players that we can trust to put our money on - Suzuki, Hyundai-Kia, Tata, M&M, and Toyota.
Well said!, I also think Renault - Nissan deserved to be considered as well for their creativity in Kwid, Triber and Magnite in making something customized for our shores though they are not making that numbers yet.

It is a flawed business model and greediness of American manufacturers. They are skilled and really have strong processes and matured quality. But they are too restless to make money without making solid efforts. EcoSport is a great vehicle but did not kept pace with the market to keep mass buyers coming back to it.

Marketing and servicing are 2 biggest issues for Ford. My friend owned Ikon and absolutely loves it but hates it when it comes to service and exorbitant replacement costs because no loose parts are available per Ford's service parts policy. They changed it in last 2 years and made an last ditch attempt to advertise service costs are lower for Ford owners but it is too late.

First gen Ford Fiesta is another extremely good vehicle and had some success but again Ford became greedy and launched the next gen Fiesta which was completely opposite of what was the first gen known for (Fuel Economy, Agile and Reliable). This is a blunder because they went away from their brand promise unlike Maruti and Hyundai alike. Change is feasible but with market like ours, it has to be slow, like how MSIL came up with Nexa.

Profit is a must to have but also sustenance in market. Ford & GM chose to close down loss making units where they consciously decided not to fix it but rather write-off their investments which is less trouble to admit and manage rather than committing to fix it and again answer shareholders who are always wanting more for less.
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Old 15th September 2021, 10:01   #374
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Default Re: Ford to stop manufacturing cars in India

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Meanwhile Toyota says they don't plan to expand further in India

https://m.economictimes.com/industry...w/78117342.cms
This news was last year, and they had immediately refuted that-

https://www.livemint.com/companies/n...216353988.html

They have changed the nature of their expansion by partnering with Suzuki. We may not see true Toyotas in the future, but the brand will remain i believe.
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Old 15th September 2021, 10:44   #375
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Default Re: Ford to stop manufacturing cars in India

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A little birdie tells me that Ford didn't want to sit on dead stock of thousands of cars or parts. Hence, it intentionally misled the market by running mules of the EcoSport facelift & passing out rumours of the Endeavour Bi-Turbo to some of its dealers.
Highly unlikely that they had taken a decision to exit, it was known beyond the senior-management of Ford globally, and they went for an “intentionally misleading” approach.

We should remember a few key points:

1) The decision to exit India and take an additional USD 2 bn charge for closure costs was a material development, which needed to be announced to Ford’s investors as soon as it is taken
2) Even senior executives at Ford in India would be junior folks in the global system - even in MNCs where India is a lot more significant, the India Country President would be 3-4 levels below the CEO, and a lot less powerful than Country Heads for larger markets. For a Ford, the India management team would be barely mid management in the global system.

Ford is therefore not going to tell relatively junior folks price sensitive information it has not told the SEC.

In most MNCs, line managers maintain business as usual until a decision is taken. I have seen bankers at a competing aggressively pitching deals until the day before the bank announced it was shutting their business - and even after rumours of such a shut down had been doing the rounds. That is just what you do, and insiders are as clueless about which way such decisions will go as anyone else. It is quite likely that the Ford India team was building a case for continuing in India and trying to find a partner - and they would run the business in a normal manner to preserve that option.

But yes, when senior management decides that the axe must fall on a business, any commitment made the previous day holds no value (except perhaps the hope of some amount of compensation)

Last edited by Hayek : 15th September 2021 at 10:46.
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