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The Spaminator
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Figo demand outpacing production


Figo Sets Pace for Ford of India​

New Delhi: Ford India is on a high. Figo sales have surpassed its expectations, clocking 7,800 units in the first month, March, alone.

Now, the US auto giant is facing a capacity constraint with Figo deliveries lagging by 4-6 weeks, especially for the two top-end variants called Titanium and Zxi.

Michael Boneham, managing director of Ford India, says he has already decided to begin second shift operations at Chennai from June to cope with order backlog of Figo, but still refuses to put a number to Figo sales for the full year.

In an exclusive chat with DNA, Boneham said almost 70% of Figo sales are happening in the top two variants, “so it is a false perception in the market that Indians buy only cheap cars…they are obviously looking for value.”

Figo is available in eight variants, four each of petrol and diesel, with base petrol version coming for Rs 3.67 lakh and base diesel version for Rs 4.7 lakh (ex-showroom Mumbai). The Titanium diesel is priced at Rs 5.56 lakh whereas the Zxi comes for Rs 5.21 lakh.

The car has been fitted with some interesting features such as Bluetooth connectivity, large boot space (284 litres and more when rear seats are folded) - features which are usually not seen in this segment. But will the car succeed in bringing in margins for Ford, which has remained a fringe player in India despite investing close to a billion dollars here since arrival in 1995?

Boneham says Figo has given the company economy of scale and Ford is already working on another small car.

“As a policy, we do not develop any car for a single market so this is being developed on a global platform…we need to have multiple products in the small car space.”

But how has Ford tackled the wide-spread consumer perception about spare parts’ unavailability and high overall cost of ownership of its cars? Boneham said that not only has the company widened its sales and service network, but it has also implemented “child parts strategy” to bring down maintenance cost for Figo.

“If there is a problem in say, the radiator or vacuum assembly, the customer no longer needs to change the entire assembly - he only has to get the specific part replaced. This has taken a lot of effort on our part but will help bring down maintenance costs significantly for our vehicles.”

Will Figo turn Ford into a mainstream player in the Indian passenger car market, where its overall share remains at an insignificant 2.5-3%, even behind compatriot General Motors? Boneham emphasises that along with China, India is the most important growth market for Ford.

http://www.dnaindia.com/money/report_figo-sets-the-pace-for-ford-in-india_1374076
 

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Figo sets the pace for Ford in India
New Delhi: Ford India is on a high. Figo sales have surpassed its expectations, clocking 7,800 units in the first month, March, alone.​
Now, the US auto giant is facing a capacity constraint with Figo deliveries lagging by 4-6 weeks, especially for the two top-end variants called Titanium and Zxi.
Michael Boneham, managing director of Ford India, says he has already decided to begin second shift operations at Chennai from June to cope with order backlog of Figo, but still refuses to put a number to Figo sales for the full year.
In an exclusive chat with DNA, Boneham said almost 70% of Figo sales are happening in the top two variants, “so it is a false perception in the market that Indians buy only cheap cars…they are obviously looking for value.”
Figo is available in eight variants, four each of petrol and diesel, with base petrol version coming for Rs 3.67 lakh and base diesel version for Rs 4.7 lakh (ex-showroom Mumbai). The Titanium diesel is priced at Rs 5.56 lakh whereas the Zxi comes for Rs 5.21 lakh.
The car has been fitted with some interesting features such as Bluetooth connectivity, large boot space (284 litres and more when rear seats are folded) - features which are usually not seen in this segment. But will the car succeed in bringing in margins for Ford, which has remained a fringe player in India despite investing close to a billion dollars here since arrival in 1995?
Boneham says Figo has given the company economy of scale and Ford is already working on another small car.
“As a policy, we do not develop any car for a single market so this is being developed on a global platform…we need to have multiple products in the small car space.”
But how has Ford tackled the wide-spread consumer perception about spare parts’ unavailability and high overall cost of ownership of its cars? Boneham said that not only has the company widened its sales and service network, but it has also implemented “child parts strategy” to bring down maintenance cost for Figo.
“If there is a problem in say, the radiator or vacuum assembly, the customer no longer needs to change the entire assembly - he only has to get the specific part replaced. This has taken a lot of effort on our part but will help bring down maintenance costs significantly for our vehicles.”
Will Figo turn Ford into a mainstream player in the Indian passenger car market, where its overall share remains at an insignificant 2.5-3%, even behind compatriot General Motors? Boneham emphasises that along with China, India is the most important growth market for Ford.

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