Wasn’t a particularly good day to launch a hotly anticipated sedan in the market with a series of 3 blasts rocking the city the night before and then the morning filled with torrential downpour, but a work at hand is a work at hand. Ford India decided that the show must go on!
A very low key launch of a very important product of 2011 took place in the Mumbai on 14th of July – the global Fiesta was finally launched in India. We got you minute by minute updates from the launch as promised.
Since then, market reactions have been mixed. Some say it is a very expensive product for their wallet, others believe that you get a lot more kit as standard so it is fine to pay a bit extra. On the occasion, we caught up with the Nigel Wark, Executive Director of Marketing, Ford India and had a nice little chat.
Any plans to drop in 1.6L engine in Figo?
We have a number of people actively encouraging us to do the same but we are focusing on a lot of things at once and there are a number of things on a higher priority than a hot hatch. But we have our ears open and we hear the interest levels from people and we will respond to the consumer’s demand.
Any plans to revisit the Mondeo segment?
We stepped out of that segment because there was a major change in the product in Europe which did not allow us to run the later versions of the Mondeo on the Indian average fuel quality. Now, we are not sure what the Indian Government is doing with respect to CBU and other tariff changes for European imports. All these factors are needed to be taken into consideration before we enter into the premium segment.
How is move of down segmenting the Fiesta to Fiesta Classic worked out for you?
It has worked out very positively indeed. It such a capable product and it has gotten better over the years. The customer satisfaction levels with the Fiesta Classic are very high and I am so happy with the product I feel like bumping up the price (Jokingly)
Are there any plans for a Sub Figo hatchback?
Currently we are constrained with the fulfilling the demand of the Indian market. As soon as we fulfill our commitments, we will search for more segments to enter.
Any plans to refresh the Endeavour?
Endeavour is a product that has done a lot for the brand. We launched a number of variants such as automatic, 4X4, 4x2. It has worked wonders for us and we are happy with the current sales figures. At the end of the day it all comes down to where we should use our resources.
How has the shift of consumer behavior from Petrol to Diesel affected Ford India?
Earlier we used to sell in 50:50 ratio now the ratio is 70:30. But these are cyclical changes and the market swings back and forth. Here, right now, diesel is dominating the market but we also expect that the petrol prices to moderate in the future and the demand for petrol cars to increase.
So there you have it folks. We'll keep you posted more on the Fiesta shortly. Stay tuned.