Ford India's biggest success story yet is the launch of the Figo in the heart of the B Segment. Ford India's best seller has entered the festival season of 2012, passing a sales landmark of two lakh units.
Before the implementation of the 'One Ford' strategy, Ford was exploring many ideas to launch a small car in India, as their entry level car Ikon was out of the range of 7/10 Indian car buyers.
They picked out the Mk5 Fiesta (the outgoing Fiesta, popular in Europe and the UK) and brought it to India. Engineers from all over the world worked on reskinning it, redesigning the interior, fitting a new diesel and petrol powertrain, and modified the suspension and tires. Ford tested the Figo all around the world before launching it in India.
Ford engineers also worked on the concept of a child part where each component was split into sub-assemblies, and replacements were made available for a damaged part to reduce service and maintenance costs. Instead of replacing an entire alternator, using this new strategy, the defunct belt or fan could be replaced, reducing the spending to a fraction of what it would be otherwise.
This strategy, tied in with high levels of localization, convinced customers who shied away from Ford in the past due to its image of a high-maintenance brand.
Ford's export business grew with the Figo, as the company ships petrol variants to 35 countries. Ford has drafted plans to sell the India-made Figo in 50 countries. The Figo has given Ford India many reasons to celebrate since its introduction in early 2010.
To continue this eventful journey, Ford has finished working on the Figo facelift for a festival season launch, sporting design touches inherited from new age Fords such as the EcoSport and Focus.
[Image - Gokulraj GK of ZapStore.com]