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Small is beautiful for Ford

Banking on its small car to be launched early next year, Ford India is targeting over three-fold increase in its sales to over 1,00,000 units per annum. Ford’s small car will compete with the likes of Maruti Wagon R and Hyundai Santro, reports Sumant Banerji.

autos Updated: May 14, 2009 22:57 IST
Sumant Banerji

Banking on its small car to be launched early next year, Ford India is targeting over three-fold increase in its sales to over 1,00,000 units per annum. Ford’s small car will compete with the likes of Maruti Wagon R and Hyundai Santro. The small car is likely to come in both petrol and diesel versions.

The company, which sells mid-size sedans Ikon and Fiesta, the MUV Fusion and the SUV Endeavour in India, is investing $500 million (Rs 2,500 crore) towards a new engine plant and expansion of its vehicle assembly facility to 2,00,000 units per annum.

“We do not intend to compete with low-end cars like Nano and M800 nor will our car be in the super hatch segment. It will be positioned in the middle of the spectrum,” said Nigel E Wark, executive director, marketing and sales, Ford India.

Currently Ford is expanding its dealer network and increasing its product localisation efforts to ensure its small car is aggressively priced. It also plans to increase the number of dealerships from 134 to 156 by the year-end.

“We have launched a quick service initiative to reduce the time taken to service a car in under 90 minutes. We have also increased the number of our local vendors, which has led to a significant decrease in the cost of our spare parts,” Wark said.