labels: passenger cars
Ford India opens new showroomnews
Alok Agarwal
12 October 2001

Mumbai: On their last visit to Mumbai last month, on the occasion of the launch of the new-look Ford Ikon, Ford India officials had said that they were planning to strengthen their marketing and distributorship network in India. What better place than Mumbai to make a beginning.

On 10 October, the company opened a new dealer showroom in the metropolis - Shaman Ford, Altamount Road, a swanky south Mumbai borough. The third full-fledged dealership of Ford India in Mumbai after Wasan Ford and Shakti Ford, Shaman Ford is a joint venture between Ford India and the Shaman group, promoted by Jatin Seth, which has interests in real estate, finance, investment and newspapers.

Seth is the owner-director of the noted Janmabhoomi group of newspapers. Shaman Ford will offer the complete array of Ford Ikon models including the CLKi (petrol), 1.6 Rally Sport, the 1.6 ZXi (petrol) and the 1.8 ZXi (diesel).

Speaking on the occasion Ford India MD David Friedman said: Mumbai, especially the western region, is a very important market for us. With Shaman Ford we hope to service Mumbai consumers much better.

He said Shaman Ford, through its large workshop, would offer sales, service, spare-parts and accessories support to its customers. Shaman Ford has also made arrangements to offer on-the-spot credit facilities to its customers through ICICI and Ford Credit.

Gracing the occasion as chief guest, Bollywood actress Nandita Das said: I am here neither as a Bollywood personality nor as an expert on cars. I am here as the niece of Seth, who is my beloved uncle. She admitted knowing nothing about cars, and in a lighter vein added that it did not matter which car one owned as long as it is possible to successfully transport its occupants from one point to another. She wished the venture every success.

Seth said he and his group owed its success to his grandfather, Manubhai A Sheth, who launched Janmabhoomi. Shaman is no longer an experiment - it is the future. My staff is presently undergoing intensive training and we will strive our very best to make the venture a great success. He hoped people would identify Shaman Fords new dealer showroom as The Showroom for Ford cars.

Friedman, for whom it was the first visit to the city after taking over as managing director, outlined two priorities:

  1. launching Fords luxury segment, offering Mondeo by December 2001; and
  2. maintaining Ikons position in its segment.

He said the global slowdown has affected domestic sales, but Ikon has seen a 2-per cent increase in the market share in its segment on a year-to-year basis. He said the focus area now is exports, where the company is maintaining an outgo of 3,000 CKD units every month.

Ikon is truly a global car, he said. He reemphasised on the importance of distribution and said Ford India is planning to expand its sales and service network from the current level of 65 dealership in 59 cities across India to 72 dealership in 65 cities this year.


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Ford India opens new showroom