Case Study | Why Ford exited India: Should customers be worried?

Range of Ford models in India

Ford has become the latest automobile manufacturer to call quit in India. The manufacturing giant has declared that it is quitting local manufacturing and will only sell top-tier models in India, and that too via the import route.

That came as a shock to many.

The American presence in the Indian car market is narrowed only to Jeep that has a trivial market share. Experts say that there are a plethora of reasons that have played major causes in Ford’s exit from India.

What happened?

As per industry experts, Ford was unable to read the Indian market well. They did not modify the car platforms, and the product strategy was not the right one.

For quite some time, small cars have ruled the Indian car industry. While Hyundai and Maruti Suzuki hit the top of the market by concentrating on small cars, Ford and General Motors failed exactly at this.

They did not mend their product strategy according to the local market likings. Ford tried to examine the Indian market as though it was the US. While India always embraced the mileage of vehicles, Ford set eyes on engine power and performance. On the other hand, Maruti Suzuki, Hyundai, Tata Motors all cooked the right ingredients for their consumers.

Other foreign companies molded a product plan for India, which then, becomes part of the Asia-Pacific product strategy and then the global plan. However, Ford attempted the other way round. It saw the Indian market from a global perspective.

Another reason for the brand’s exit was the lack of varieties in models. While other brands brought many new models to the market, Ford stuck with and focused on Ikon for quite some time. Later, they introduced models like Fusion, Figo, EcoSport, Aspire, Endeavour, and Freestyle. But, it was too late.

What about their customers?

Ford is not planning to shut shop in the manner General Motors did. The brand specified that it would continue to provide spare parts and services.

Ford will continue to import top-tier models like the upcoming Ford Ranger, Mustang, and Mustang Mach-e. Ford’s SUVs like Ford Bronco also look to be part of the new introductions. However, sales of existing models like Figo, Aspire, EcoSport, Endeavour, and Freestyle will halt once the inventories are cleared.

The company clarifies that their customers are still their top priority. Also, they are working together and supporting their existing employees, dealers, supplier, and unions.

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