Ford Exit India: What does this mean? Explained! :

 Hello, and welcome back, since you have heard the news about Ford exiting Indian market you must be curios to know it in detail, what now for new buyers, old customers or even Ford Motors India plan. 

Let's start with the History of Ford In India. 

Ford was the first multi-national automotive companies to enter Indian market in 1995 and they did it 50-50 Joint Venture with Mahindra & Mahindra as per the govt policy no foreign manufacturer was allowed to business on their own, they must have some partnership with local Indian brands. This was the result of Hero-Honda, TVS-Suzuki, Maruti Suzuki, Escorts-Yamaha and may other JVs. Ford & Mahindra partnership  was registered as Mahindra Ford India Limited. Later in 1998 Ford increased their share to 72%. Renamed as Ford India Private Limited.

  • The first car was Ford Escort which was launched by Mahindra Ford India Limited in 1996. It had 1.8l diesel engine and 1.6l petrol engine. Escort offered power steering, powered front windows, ORVMs, air conditioning, music system and much more that were luxury at that time.
  • Then came Ford Ikon in 1999 and it was first car from Ford independently for India and lasted till 2011
  • Ford Mondeo was another sedan from 2001
  • In 2003 first Endeavour for India was launched
  • In 2004 Ford Fusion  to 2010
  • In 2005 Ford Fiesta Classic to 2015
  • In 2010 First gen Figo
  • In 2011 Another Fiesta till 2016
  • In 2013 ford did exceptional, to price the car in lower tax bracket, they reduced the length of Ecosport and made in under 4m for India. This created a new segment of subcompact SUV in India. Later other manufacturers followed it and now it is the busiest segment in Indian car market.
  • In 2015 we got Figo Aspire subcompact sedan based on Figo.
  • In 2018 we got Freestyle, a Figo based crossover. 

Vintage Ford India

You can expect a detailed blog only on Ford History in India in future, but for now, its enough.

So the main topic of the talk, Ford India has announced on September 9, 2021 to immediately cease all production for Indian market at both Sanand Plant and Chennai Plant. Ford will not manufacture cars in their Indian facilities from September 9. 

The sale will be continued until the dealers go out of stock. and Sales will also be ceased immediately when they have no stock. Ford Figo, Figo Aspire, Freestyle, Ecosport and Endeavour are on sale currently. 

For Future Sales Ford will only sell CBU import vehicle. This will include Mustang 5.0(facelift due since a long time) , MachE GT and Ranger will add soon Since they said they will import Hybrid and electric cars, we can also expect Bronco EV to come in India. So Ford hasn't really exited India but from the mass market segment and shut off their plants. There 170 Ford dealers in the country with around 391 outlets and they have around 1000 cars in stock. 

Sanand Plant will continue to manufacture Engine for exporting till Q4 2021 and Chennai plant will stop till Q2 2022. 

For old customers, Ford will continue to serve existing customers with service, aftermarket parts and warranty coverage. The vendor manufacturers of Ford will continue to make the OEM parts and support in service and warranty of the cars running on the road. 

The one question your mind would be striking with: Why are they leaving us? I've got you covered. Ford has invested heavily in India, they have announced that they are in great loss in Indian market, the money invested is not being recovered and the loss is of $2 Billions(14,600 Crores INR). Despite of having five cars they are unable to fetch good sales numbers, But there are Brands like Kia and MG with just three products each both are rocking the sales chart.

Now you might be thinking, why are Ford cars seen lesser on roads, the answer to this is in my opinion is that they didnt gave proper timely updates to their car. Changes are inevitable, the thing which is cool in 2020 will not be in 202, taste changes and brands needs too adopt the changes to survive in the market. Ford had really great cars in the beginning, they offered us creature comfort which we weren't aware of, they gave us good handling cars when we were just driving sh*tboxes on wheels, the Ford cars always had good built quality and driving dynamics. But we ignored all this and went to the guy who was giving us better fuel economy and was light on pocket. 

Ford Ecosport 2021

The most selling product by Ford India has to be Ecosport, it was tailored for India and to cut down taxes and ended up creating a new segment and now the segment has most cars and now every one aspires to buy compact SUV in India. They are practical, feature rich, spacious, high ground clearance, easy to drive, and gives a big car feel being compact in SUV. 

But Ecosport had not seen a generation updates since a decade now, it was planned for October(i guess) but things didn't went right. It had the same design, same interiors when seen as a whole, the updates were very minimal and kind of norm as everyone had these, like a touch screen, LED DRLs and all. 

The same case was with almost every car, be it Figo , Aspire or even Endeavour. They also launched Freestyle, it was a Figo with little more ground clearance and black plastic claddings. Endeavour was a good product and offerings were at par when compared to Fortuner but still Fortuner's reliability made customers choose it over the Endy. Some were also disappointed with Ford as they removed old 2.2 and 3.2l diesel engines due to BS6 and slapped in 2.0 Ecosboost engine with single turbo. The power out put was adequate but Fortuner has 2.8l diesel engine, 'There is no replacement for displacement'. 
2.0L Ecoboost Endeavour

Now What? We have lost another American auto manufacturer, First GM left us, then Harley Davidson(Hero motors invested in them to revive) and now Ford.  We should realize what are we really lacking or opting for which are making these American giants leave us. We should stop considering cars over mileage but the fuel prices are sky rocketing high. Still those fuel savers are just metal boxes which can move us, they are having gimmicky features which are used rarely but only to look cool, they do not have handling and steering dynamics like these. It is really disheartening to see auto giants leave Indian market. We should really look around what are the offerings and test drive the vehicles thoroughly before buying. We should stop this so any other manufacturer would stop thinking going this way. There are very few driver oriented cars left, we should save them, We must save them.

Previous Post Next Post