Tell Us - Is launching the Focus hatch in India a mistake Ford should not commit?

26/04/2012 - 04:16 | ,   | Shrawan Raja

Do you think India is ready for a C-Segment hatchback like the Focus? In a recent article on Hindustan Times, Ford APA's Joe Hinrichs has told reporters at the Beijing Auto Show that customers in India want a powerful and feature rich hatchback for driving in Indian cities.

Ford Focus STFord Focus ST dashboard

These are our arguments, we'd love to hear your thoughts in the comment box below

  • Ford's reluctance in bringing the Fiesta hatch to India tells us that cost targets cannot be met and launching a hatchback in a segment above the Fiesta hatch may not be a wise idea after all.
  • In order to price it aggressively, Ford has to manufacture the Focus in India with high levels of local content and none of the other players in this segment manufacture their cars in India due to less demand. To give you an idea of the positioning, the Focus sedan competes with the Honda Civic, Skoda Laura and Toyota Corolla.
  • For a price of 9 lakh rupees (our estimate for the Focus hatchback's starting price), India prefers a sedan or an SUV. Honda had to bring down the price to do something about the rapidly declining sales of the Jazz, a premium hatchback that proved it was a misfit at those price levels. Chevrolet's SRV was another sales dud even when there were plenty of takers for petrol cars.
  • Hyundai and Volkswagen have the i30 and Golf respectively that are popular in Europe for years now. These two companies never saw a business case for uber-premium hatchbacks and their alternatives are Verna and Vento.
  • The Focus is a completely new brand in India and unlike the Beetle or the MINI, aspirations to drive one after paying a premium is not high.

Feel free to share your thoughts so that we can carry on this discussion all day on the Focus hatchback's compatibility with the Indian market.

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