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Old 15th September 2021, 10:48   #376
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Default Re: Ford to stop manufacturing cars in India

Chennai Ford Employees Union appeals to Tamil Nadu government to let plant continue.

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Meanwhile, Ford India’s management informed the employees’ union that its decision to close down the plants was final, and there would be no change.
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Old 15th September 2021, 11:35   #377
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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.

Everyone lies. Even Mary Barra - CEO of GM USA came to India to announce a big $1 billion investment - then GM India coyly pulled the shutters down a year later.
This is precisely the reason i would never buy a American/European car in India (except probably the Germans). Although i must admit, i really wanted to buy a Ford Ecosport. The Americans are infamous for such approach. Even the French/Italians.

In 1994 or 1995, i had gone with my father to check out the Fiat Uno/Peugeot 309 in a PAL dealership as a replacement for our humble 1987 Red Maruti 800. While no doubt the cars were good for their time, it was the company manufacturing them just didn't give us enough confidence to buy their product. Then within no time Peugeot left. Fiat Uno disappeared in History. By luck we got saved from dealing with such a experience.

Circa 2003-2004, Fiat Palio caught our attention. Absolutely the most goregeous hatchback of its time with the trademark Orange shade. As usual a negative news about a dealer selling a repaired vehicle to a customer shelved the plans to buy it.

In 2010, Chevrolet had the Beat displayed a huge shopping mall in Mumbai and my father checked it out but he told me that given his past experiences with Fiat Uno/Peugeot 309/Fiat Palio no matter how good the product is he won't put his money in a American/European car in India. He himself had a Mercedes-Benz sedan, Chevrolet Caprice, Mazda sedan in the early 1980s when he use to live abroad.
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Old 15th September 2021, 11:37   #378
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I don't believe Ford would have intentionally misled the market. The process by which country exit decisions like this happen in large multinational companies is highly confidential and controlled, the possibility of this happening being discussed only among a small group of the very top excellence of global management at Dearborn.

Very likely, there may have been only a couple of people who knew about the impending decision, and most likely that did not include any one from the India management team. The Ford India management team may have been trying within their limited available budget and resources to launch an Ecosport facelift. This is probably why it looked like such a poor job! All these plans literally changed over night when bored room decisions are taken to exit the country with almost no knowledge locally of what is coming.

For a company that is going to write off billions of dollars in investment, a few 100s of Ecosports having to be sold in a fire sale mode is peanuts. The value system of a company like Ford would never even consider such a stupid step as misleading the market to save a 5-10 million dollars when they are writing off over 2 billion dollars!
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Old 15th September 2021, 11:56   #379
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...bored room decisions....
Unintended or not, that's a killer pun, am going to use with my bosses right away. That just makes my day, thank you

Last edited by One : 15th September 2021 at 11:57.
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Old 15th September 2021, 11:56   #380
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It was a business decision they made and I guess there were last minute deliberations as well. I have experienced the same in my workfield as well couple of times, when the management does all the sweet talk and only next day happen to start axing people.
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Old 15th September 2021, 13:00   #381
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Originally Posted by GTO View Post
intentionally misled the market by running mules of the EcoSport facelift & passing out rumours of the Endeavour Bi-Turbo to some of its dealers.
Very likely I would say. Ever since the proposed JV with Mahindra came to end, many people including the dealers might had their fair share of doubts about the existence of Ford in India or they were afraid Ford may shut their shop soon. Exactly how they did now.

And to sell out those parts/inventories, they might have intentionally played the cheap trick of lying to the loyal customers, dealers, and to the employees as well. Not many will think that they will exit the market when they are actively testing new facelift models of Eco Sport and when they introduce new variants to their existing line ups and adding AT.

There is also a probability that Ford India officials might want to stay and give it a try but their global operations might had the last say and decided to exit.

Whatever it is, this was a complete shame. No matter how we blame the tax regime and other issues in our country including the picky nature of the Indian customer, in the end, Ford miserably failed due to their own lack of vision and marketing failures. They remained in the country for over 2 decades and had many already developed products in hand. Wrong decisions screwed them up in India along with their direct and indirect employees and their families as well.
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Old 15th September 2021, 13:01   #382
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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.

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.
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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.
So as per you Indian consumers like shoddy cars which are not good as Fords
and prefer "donkeys" instead of "Horses" ? and Ford only builds "Horses"?

You sure its not the other way around? I think most successful companies have realised that “Customer is King” not "Company is King".
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Old 15th September 2021, 14:42   #383
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I think most successful companies have realised that “Customer is King” not "Company is King".
If we believe in "customer is king", why do we in team bhp bat for safer cars, NCAP tests etc? Customers don't want safer cars if we go by sales trends.

Ford didn't want to build mediocre cars for India, and I respect them for that decision instead of bashing them. It's not that we were yearning to buy mediocre cars with the Ford badge. We didn't want what Ford was selling so they left. I'd say Bon Voyage!
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Old 15th September 2021, 15:33   #384
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Default Re: Ford to stop manufacturing cars in India

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If we believe in "customer is king", why do we in team bhp bat for safer cars, NCAP tests etc? Customers don't want safer cars if we go by sales trends.
It is not that customers don't want safer cars, it is that they are less willing to pay extra for it or lack awareness of safety ratings. TaMo keeps advertising their 5 star ratings because it gets them sales. They wouldn't if it didn't work. People are becoming more aware and going for safer cars.

Even on this forum many members have consciously decided to go with a TaMo car despite the niggles because they wanted a safe car.

The customer is and will continue to be the king and the final arbiter of the fates of manufacturers.
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Old 15th September 2021, 16:02   #385
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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.

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.

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.
So those who choose Marutis or Hyundais are fools and not discerning customers like you. So be it. If after twentyfive years of coexisting with MUL Ford could not learn a thing or two and wean customers away to their models or at least create a niche for themselves, whose fault is it?

Ford's models might have beeen better than Marutis (debatable), but customers think Maruti is a better company to put their money in than Ford. That's it. Don't give over buildup. Ford is no BMW or Audi. Not many customers trusted the brand Ford. Their sales were languishing. They are packing up and leaving. That's all there is to it.

Last edited by Gansan : 15th September 2021 at 16:05.
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Old 15th September 2021, 16:22   #386
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Default Re: Ford to stop manufacturing cars in India

As someone with the least sold Ford variant('19 Figo AT) it's hilarious to read all the comments bashing/defending Ford.

Yes, 120bhp petrol motor is a delight to drive for me, but what do my family members get from the Figo that they can't have in any other model? Nothing out of the ordinary.

Let's be fair, people need to please their family too while buying a car, this is where the Figo twins lost. Ecosport too loses out on interior space. They didn't plan for a model above Ecosport, which owners can upgrade to, they had two HUGE factories for few thousand units of production, list goes on.

End of the day, business needs to make profit to survive. Ford simply wants to concentrate on their home market and EV's, our market's need are far different from their home market, we don't have import friendly policy too, so they have shut shop for now. Let's not blame customer for their decision.
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Old 15th September 2021, 16:23   #387
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Default Re: Ford to stop manufacturing cars in India

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1. Customers don't want safer cars if we go by sales trends.

2. Ford didn't want to build mediocre cars for India,
1. Again I would suggest to look at the sales data instead of generalizing.

2. So is VW building and selling a mediocre Polo ?
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Old 15th September 2021, 16:31   #388
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Chennai Ford Employees Union appeals to Tamil Nadu government to let plant continue.

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COVID-19's economic impact + Ford's decision is a perfect storm for the employees.

I hope the Chennai plant doesn't end up to be another IT Park like what happened to the erstwhile Standard Motors Plant on the same road!!

Default Abandoned: Iconic Car Factories:
https://www.team-bhp.com/forum/inter...factories.html (Abandoned: Iconic Car Factories)

The Chennai Plant is strategically located and has access to a large pool of suppliers and human resources.

I hope some automaker takes over the plant. The retooling cost may be high though since I faintly remember that the Sanand plant was much more modern but I may be wrong.

Hyundai's plant isn't far from this one and I wonder what if the TN Government can throw in some sops and ask Hyundai if they are interested to take over Ford's plant. The Hyundai-KIA group is firing on all cylinders and TN has a first time CM and a party that hasn't been in power for a decade, so there's motive to make this work.

Not many people understand the impact to the local community when a factory shuts its doors forever.

P.S: Take it easy on the Ford vs. others debate people. Not everyone who defends Ford online went and bought a Ford every 5 years to keep the company afloat and not everyone who bought a Maruti/Hyundai instead of a Ford is to be ridiculed. There wasn't an alignment between what Ford had to offer and what the market demanded. Its as simple as that.
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Old 15th September 2021, 16:47   #389
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Default Re: Ford to stop manufacturing cars in India

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Ford didn't want to build mediocre cars for India, and I respect them for that decision instead of bashing them. It's not that we were yearning to buy mediocre cars with the Ford badge. We didn't want what Ford was selling so they left. I'd say Bon Voyage!
Ford or Chevrolet just threw their global products in India and waited to see which one stuck long enough. They did the same with Fiesta, with older cars like the Mondeo, Escort, Fusion. Even the first gen Figo was a derivative of Ford Fusion which made it dynamically capable car at lesser price and hence it sold in good numbers. The Ecosport too was for Brazil and other markets but it caught up well with radical design and frugal diesel engine. They did the same with their new Figo and Aspire but the fact this current lineup did become 'mediocre' in the last few years when competition moved ahead of the game. Figo and Aspire were 'mediocre' hence they did not sell, The Ecosport wasn't hence it was selling well even after so many years. What they should have done is come up with India specific platforms and engines (the Dragon engine series) with the time they had, something that VW and Renault have learnt and started doing, Toyota couldn't do it so they left early (Etios and Liva) but came up with other strategies to keep their dealers happy.

I don't think any business with this mindset of 'customer should buy what we sell' will thrive long enough here, it has been discussed a lot.

I say Bon Voyage to Ford too, but I find it funny when people start blaming customer's preferences for their failure. Ford should have the balls to say that they simply couldn't understand the game, even after playing it for 25 long years. And to your point, if they really were not ready to sell mediocre cars, then I would say they were stupid to stay here for so long, should have packed up back in 2000's.
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Old 15th September 2021, 17:27   #390
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My two cents on the exit of Ford and service/repair concerns which makes many Ford owners consider selling their vehicles immediately (This was posted on a Facebook forum of Ford owners)

I am not a Ford owner yet, but can share my experience as the owner of a car from another manufacturer who had left India some time ago, which is Fiat.

I drive a Fiat Palio Stile 1.1 and have a not-so-bad ownership experience so far.
For parts I either approach FCA dealerships (only enquiries done so far, no purchases made yet) or websites such as boodmo or 99rpm. Yes, you may have to wait for some days unlike parts of a Maruti Suzuki, but they are not entirely unavailable.

For periodic maintenance and repairs, there are some experienced Fiat specialists across the country, just like the Ambassador specialists and Enfield specialists that you'd find at many places. I reside in Kerala and have a list of mechanics who know Fiat cars well, and can be trusted with the car.

One thing that Ford owners can do now, is to collaboratively build a database of persons and places where services will be available even if the manufacturer's promise of continued services doesn't materialize as expected. This can be useful in the long term. In any case I guess there is no case for panic selling of Ford vehicles, which are value for money and can be trusted as travel companions.
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