As we have been saying, Ford Motor Co is getting really aggressive in its Indian operations. It has now emerged that the popular American car maker has formulated a multi-pronged strategy for the high-volume Indian compact car market. The plans includes launch of an all new entry-level small car and a premium hatchback, to be positioned below and above Figo respectively.
The car maker feels that new products based on global platforms are the way to go in India. Joe Hinrichs, president of Ford’s Asia Pacific and Africa Head, said. “Hatchbacks are a high-volume segment in India and you need to have products in that segment to be a bigger player and that is our plan and our intention,”
Regarding possibility of launching a Maruti Alto rival, he said, “We continue to look at all the segments in India, including at lower price points… It is something we study and are capable of doing.”
He also said that the company can look at a product similar to highly popular Ka for introducing in India. “(While) we have expertise in that area, we will continue to explore what our options are.” Hinrichs also spoke about a greater play in the upper segment of the compact car market, which can possibly be through models developed from Ford’s global platforms. The company’s ‘B platform’, which has given birth to the Fiesta sedan and the new Eco Sport SUV, is also the originator of the Fiesta hatchback that has been launched overseas but not in India.
Hinrichs further commented that the car maker is confident of gaining market share with the launch of Eco Sport SUV in early 2013. “We think we have a great product in the Eco Sport and Ford will price it competitively. To keep the cost of the vehicle competitive, the company has decided to have a local content of over 70% to begin with, while also looking at exports to gain economies of scale.”