Ford India on consolidation drive

By Our Corporate Bureau | 28 Mar 2007

Kolkata: Ford India, which is consolidating operations in India, has no plans to introduce new models in 2007.

Instead, the company plans to focus on entrenching itself deeper in the Indian market by making improvements in its existing models — Ikon, Endeavour, Fiesta and Fusion.

In keeping with its long standing strategy in India, the company will launch new variants of existing models with added features to help it to maintain a 20 per cent market share in the mid-sized car segment.

The company says it has introduced a number of new features to the Ford Ikon and will introduce more in the coming months. For instance, the new 2007 Ikon now comes loaded with plush new interiors and new stylish exterior enhancements.

Priced at an attractive Rs 4,75,900 (ex-showroom, New Delhi and Hyderabad) the 2007 Ikon will also be available in a brand new colour - Jeans Blue to its range to offer consumers more choice.

The 2007 Ikon has plush beige and dark parchment interiors; matching seat fabric and trims; new instrument cluster graphics; Ford India will also offer enhancements to the Ford Ikon at an additional cost of Rs 35, 000 to include features such as rear spoiler, sporty alloy wheels, sporty seat covers, anti-theft alarm, chrome decklid handle, and chrome exhaust trim.

In addition to the Jeans Blue, the new Ikon will be available in a variety of eye catching colours such as Papkrika Red, Moondust Silver, Diamond White, Panther Black, Platinum and Jewel Violet.

"The Ikon has been a big success story for Ford India, and we are very proud of what it has accomplished in its eight years in the Indian market," said Scott McCormack, vice president, marketing, sales and service, Ford India. "With the new 2007 Ikon, we have created a stylised, luxurious model to fit in with its customer profile of a young, aspiring individual."
He adds, "The Ikon customer is a 25 to 30 year old aspiring individual, typically employed in the knowledge sector. He is progressive and passionate, spirited and young at heart, looking to 'Live Life with Josh' ".

The Ford Ikon was launched in 1999, and the company has time and again updated the car with new variants to meet changing consumer preferences. For instance, in 2006, Ford India introduced the Ikon CNG, a dual-fuel variant that can run both on petrol and compressed natural gas [CNG].

Ford also plans to relaunch the Mondeo, which it had withdrawn due to poor demand.

The company has also introduced a new 1.4-litre petrol ZXi version of the Ford Fiesta model priced at Rs 6.30 lakh (ex-showroom New Delhi) which is expected to strengthen Ford's position in the growing mid-size automotive segment.

The new model will feature either a 1.4 petrol 16V DOHC engine or 1.48 V SOHC TDCI engine, full chrome surround twin headlamps, front fog lamps and front map reading lights, rear reading lights and glove box lamp.

The car, which is claimed to be ideally suited for city driving, will now be available in three petrol and three diesel versions.

The company says the model is specific to Indian road conditions and has been developed after feedback from customers. Coming from the company's award winning Fiesta lineup, the new model is expected to increase sales in the coming fiscal. Of the 42,000 cars sold last year, Fiesta's share was over 17 per cent.

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