At this year’s Auto Expo, while everyone was busy ensuring their spotless machines sparkled under the lights and absorbed a zillion camera flashes, Ford India was hitting the right notes, focusing on the internals beneath that shiny coat of paint. Mr Anurag Mehrotra, Executive Director, Marketing, Sales & Service, Ford India, invited us for a conversation, during which, he elaborated on the efforts Ford India has been taking to ensure that availability, quality and cost of spares and service for Ford cars is unparalleled. So here’s what we now know and as a potential car buyer, or an existing owner, maybe you need to know this too.
Ford’s Service Price Promise
This rather cool feature on Ford’s website tells you about the cost of regular consumables and labour charges, taxes etc, when your Ford vehicle is due for service. Although untimely part replacement and other such scenarios aren’t understandably a part of the simulation, Ford’s Service Price Promise lets you know how much your car’s service is going to cost before entering a service dealership. It’s simple, all you have to do is enter details about the city you live in, details about your vehicle, take a print of the calculated quote, show it at your Ford dealership and not pay a penny extra if it is a regular service.
Availability of Ford Spares through retail channels
A major change that has come about and which should exorcise ghostly notions about availability and cost of Ford spares is that they are now available at major Automobile spare part retailers. So you may now let your trusted mechanic fix your Ford, go buy any replacement part yourself and still not void the warranty, provided the situation has met all terms and conditions. Not just that, Mr Mehrotra did manage to surprise us when he mentioned that prices of Genuine Ford spares are 6-12 % lesser than those of Maruti and that has come about as a result of Ford finally moving into the volumes segment with products like the Figo, where cost of ownership plays a hefty role. Ford also has plans to display prices of parts on their website to further their case of transparency.
Ford India has been taking never heard before measures to ensure that the workforce employed at dealerships wears the Ford badge on their shirt pockets with pride. So service attendants are taken to the factory and given a tour of how a Ford is made and eventually rolls out, to instil a sort of bond and a sense of passion about the machines they service. They also conduct psychometric tests on dealership personnel before employing them. Neat! Ford also wants to venture deeper into the hinterland, further expanding their sales and service network.
Mehrotra is upbeat about Ford’s goals in 2016. “Not just freshest and most capable products, 2016 also mark the beginning of our journey to redefine customer expectations. In 2016, Ford owners will benefit from numerous initiatives we have undertaken to enhance affordability and accessibility of our products & services, delivered to them with complete transparency. We are confident that these initiatives will help extend the joy of owning a Ford to hundreds and thousands of new Indian customers,” he said.
As a publication, we’ve been observing Ford India take steady, solid measures to bring about a robust change in the way Ford vehicles are serviced in India. Sadly, their efforts and the groundwork hasn’t been much publicised or talked about and hasn’t reached the right people through the right channels. In fact, in the numerous meetings we’ve had with the Ford top brass in the past couple of years, we’ve emphasized that the brand needs to let the people know about the hard work they have put in to bring the cost of service and spares down. Looks like Ford has finally decided to lets everyone know about the transformation, which will be great for the consumer and Ford India too. We wish them all the best!