Ford Motor To Stop Manufacturing Cars In India; Here’s Why

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Ford is the first company that started assembly manufacturing cars in Detroit from 1905 to 1910. Simpson Ford was there once long back in trucks, that too was finally stopped. Ford came again with Mahindra, then started on their own and failed again. Somehow they couldn’t do as better as Koreans did. There are companies like Tata Nissan Renault who are fighting hard to gain the share of the big Indian market another side there are companies like Ford, GM who are running away. One of the leading automobile companies in the world has announced that it will stop its manufacturing units in India. Automobile company Ford has expressed on Thursday that it will stop its manufacturing of cars in India. The company is going to shut down its manufacturing unit in India.

The sanand city plant will stop manifesting Ford cars by the end of the year 2021 and the Chennai manufacturing unit will stop functioning by the first quarter of 2022. Anurag Mehrotra, Ford India unit head has told that the decision was taken because of the surmounting losses. The company is not able to forecast its growth in the Indian market and eventually it will have to stop its services. The famous American automobile manufacturing company had invested around 1.47 lakh crore in India. Ford has a manufacturing plant in Chennai and Sanand city (Gujarat). Ford failed to give proper updates for the cars. Figo remained untouched for almost a decade. No new features or even price cuts. Even Ecosport got robbed of its Android auto support with only downgraded “FlyAudioSystem” in all models except top trim.

Ford Motor To Stop Manufacturing Cars In India

In this era, even a 5 lakhs car has android auto/apple car play. Ford has the potential but they want to leave without even trying, their last launch of a new product was in 2015, then how can they survive in the market without bringing new products and updating the existing cars, look at Nissan their condition was even abysmal still they bounced back. In the coming years every IC engine car in the used market will depreciate drastically; Thanks to the Scrappage policy+ Electrification. In India people don’t buy cars for safety, engine they buy them for mileage. That’s where the trajectory is opposite between the market and Ford. People are not going for it because of its low resale value in India. In India ford giving poor customer service and still manufacturing very outdated car models. They were too costly as compared to a competitor with the same model cars.

It was difficult to get spares and expensive. Ford should have introduced a new XUV, alcazar, safari, hector segment car at a good price, they would have beaten everyone and stayed here, they just got stuck on old ones. This clearly shows the priorities we Indians have when it comes to car purchases,” Mileage Kitna deti hai” has ruled the Indian auto industry for decades. Deserving automakers like Ford, VW, Renault with a genuine focus on safety are unable to capture market share. Huge taxes on Big automobile brands is also the prior reason behind the exit of ford from India. Tesla and Toyota too criticized India’s taxation policy that’s why Toyota was changing the names of Maruti cars to the urban cruiser. The government has imposed taxes on the big vehicle so high even Toyota has said they will not going to invest any more in India.

Ford India Shut Down

The manufacturing hub at Chennai is capable to manufacture around two lakhs cars in a year. It is also efficient enough to manufacture 3.4 lakh engines in a year. While sanand city manufacturing plant is capable to manufacture around 2.4 lakh cars in a year and 2.7 lakh engines in a year. The company was hit hard because of covid-19. In July both the manufacturing plants of ford were only manufacturing 20% of their capacity. They drastically forgot the competition. It’s Ford’s MISTAKE. Enthusiasts still bought them. Can’t even imagine an international company with brilliant models abroad didn’t find fresh updates this whole time for India. This was certain to happen one day. Ford delivers the best build quality and handling. In that category, no other car can deliver the same performance that Ecosport provides.

Ford failed to study Indian consumers that people just want fancy features as they don’t mind performance, safety n quality. Indian folks never mind to quality, performance, safety but the useless features which they hardly gonna used. Also, the import taxes are atrociously high. Who is Ford fooling, no one will buy an 80 lac ford? People hoped Ford would bring an Edge, or Explorer-based SUV made for India and Made in India. That was Frankly the only way ford could have survived. But now it is only a distant dream. Somehow ford dug its own grave.  They should have known better. Besides, they hiked the price recently with no new features. They never had an India-focused plan like Koreans. Inflation of currency value, poor update, and bad marketing is the cause of their failure.

Ford India Manufacturing Shut Down

Government should introduce stringent vehicle quality measures so that companies like Maruti Suzuki don’t sell so cheap and unreliable cars and compete directly with companies like Ford. The situation is pretty much the same that happened to Chevrolet. For now, we hope Ford will continue their service center, and also the used endeavor market will go down probably because parts will be costly for sure. And the main reason may be because Ford couldn’t compete with the TATAs and Mahindras, etc. But we don’t understand why the Ford market specialist couldn’t do much. Indians will be left with one option less. Not good for consumers at all. We will only see common cars in India and road diversity will take a hit. We believe bureaucracy from the government and no support has a lot to do with companies exiting India.

Soon foreign companies in other sectors will also start winding up and this would mean a lot of job losses and go back from the modern era. One nation one road tax is need of the hour or else decline in car market will continue. A lot of people love driving Fords like Ecosport, Explorer & Territory (outside India) and expected them coming to India. Looks like people will have to migrate outside India to feel global in today’s world. Only car enthusiasts will understand the value of Ford and it will be dearly missed. Ford India was just on the verge of getting a good response and it was doing better than VW and Skoda. Don’t know what made them take this decision. Ford India was taking wrong decisions one after the other. It seems worldwide Ford is not doing well.

Ford Manufacturing Exit From India

The Sanand plant capacity was planned such a huge, why? on what basis? Where was that marketing drive after you create such a big facility?. Ford had plans that they were to supply spare parts and Engines globally from this plant. Such a huge paint shop they have installed (almost more than half of the plant cost was only a paint shop and pity they couldn’t even give good color options even to their buyers). Something is wrong. Ford is not the company that should stop working if a local company like M&M does not work/support them. All in ALL Ford India operations and product management were not handled properly. If this is the condition now,  Ford is making another mistake of selling the cars CBU. Who will buy such costly cars? Rather people will buy Merc /Audi/BMW since they would be competitive since making here.

Export was really good and Ford was a leading company for car exports from India. And now they stopped export too. A lot of experts are saying that If they would have done r&d three years back and launched a ford Ecosport next-gen they would have wiped out the competition. While an automobile expert has suggested that companies like ford must have to think according to the business diaspora of India. Why companies like Ford do not go for 800 cc segment cars in India with low prices, good reasonable milage. Here in India, no car provides at least 4 stars. You can come up with it but cannot turn cars smaller than Maruti Suzuki’s Alto. Safety is a major concern, mindsets are changing gradually. Ford has a reputation for expensive car spare parts. On analysis, 800 cc segment cars will not demand expensive spare parts comparatively.

Ford Motor Stop Manufacturing Cars In India
Image Credits: Dainik Bhaskar

Although shutting down of ford in India was under consideration for a long time, It’s coming a long time, under new management ford is consolidating its focus on only SUVs and North America, Covid only accelerated that they were not able to cope with the competition from other brands in India, lately from Tata motors(the company they humiliated a few years back). It has been reported that this should have happened long back. When ford wasn’t interested in expanding its portfolio, no latest tech being given, no timely uplift version given why would anyone buy Ford.

Finally gone for good. “Ford plans to leave India” news was there in 2018. But then they joined with M&M for a joint venture with sharing new engines and platforms. If they leave, there’d be no car with the great build quality and customer service under 10 lakhs. Tata has a strong framework, interior fit & finish feel cheap. Hyundai has a great interior and features, no strong framework. Ford and Volkswagen were the only ones that had a good balance of both. Hopefully, Ford finds its way back to India. Some day.

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