labels: ford india, passenger cars
Ford hires Chhabria to style its cars news
27 September 1999

Ford India intends to give a real Indian touch to vehicles it launches in the country. It has engaged a reputed Indian car designer and auto stylist, Dilip Chhabria, to add personalised and customised features in its cars for the Indian aficionado. To start with, Mr Chhabria will design a limited edition of specially styled versions of the Ford Ikon, the car that is due for launch in November 1999. The Ikon itself is a special vehicle meant for India and designed at Ford''s small vehicle centre in Germany. The limited edition is expected to be ready for the market by mid-2000.

Besides the limited edition, there will be Chhabria-designed kits, dashboards, interiors, door pads, lights, grills and bumpers. Customers opting for these special features can buy vehicles with exclusive and customised looks.

Ford India seems to have decided to build a long-term relationship with Mr Chhabria, and the company is setting up a full-fledged design workshop, to implement his styling, adjacent to its Maraimalainagar plant near Chennai.

Mr Chhabria is well suited to handle the job. Although he has recently floated a new company for automotive designs, he has had years of experience in the field. Vehicles restyled and redesigned by him are in demand, and Chhabria-designed vehicles, can occasionally be seen on Indian roads. An engineer by qualification, he is an old General Motors hand.

At the global level, it is a practice with Ford Motors to have specialist designers to bring out customised cars. The company uses Tickford in Australia and Cosworth in the UK for special, customised design jobs. The company has earlier brought out limited edition versions of its Orion, Alpha and the Freedom models.

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Ford hires Chhabria to style its cars