Ford India to launch small car in a year

After Tata Motors and General Motors, now Ford India plans to launch a small car in India. The launch is expected by the first quarter of calendar year 2010.

Asked if it is looking at the Maruti 800 and the Chevrolet Spark segment, Nigel E Wark, executive director, marketing, sales and service, Ford India, said: “Yes, we will be launching the small car in this segment broadly, but there are sub-segments in the category, and this is where we will differentiate ourselves. We will be basically competing in the largest volume segment. India and China are the two markets in the world where small cars are in huge demand and we will be focusing on these countries a lot.” He did not give more details.

Early 2008, Ford India had invested US$ 500 million to expand its vehicle and engine manufacturing capacity. Wark said the small car operations would be funded from this investment alone as of now.

The automobile firm is expanding its yearly vehicle manufacturing capacity to 200,000 units and 250,000 engines. “We are looking at increasing the share of exports (from India) once the capacity is expanded. Plus, we will export the small car in the region, apart from petrol and diesel engines,” said Wark.

On customer service, Ford India is planning to expand Quick Service centres. At present, it runs Quick Service centres at 23 locations, which it intends to take to 45 by December. “Through the expanded number of Quick Service centres, we intend to reach out to 70-75 per cent of our customers in the country,” said Jesus Metelo Arias, general manager, customer service operations.

Source: Business Standard