Auto giant Ford India has terminated its much-touted brand endorsement deal with film star Abhishek Bachchan.
The multinational car-maker has decided not to extend the December 2005 deal, which came up for renewal last month. Abhishek was the brand ambassador for Ford Fiesta.
"We have not renewed the endorsement deal with Abhishek Bachchan," says Ford India's Vice-President, Marketing, Scott McCormack.
The main idea of the deal was to establish the Fiesta brand and "we have achieved that very much with Abhishek's endorsement," he added.
Asked if a hike in endorsement fee was the reason for this snap, McCormack said, "This was a mutually amicable call by both of us."
The company is believed to be of the view that the Fiesta brand has acquired enough equity to thrive without a brand ambassador.
Industry sources, however, said the auto major was not willing to pay a higher price to Abhishek, whose market value has gone up of late, following his recent successes at the box-office.
The Fiesta, a mid-sized sedan, has been the best selling model for Ford and the company has sold a total of 42,000 vehicles in 2006, an 80 per cent vault in sales when compared to the previous year.
The Bollywood actor had earlier endorsed home-grown car-maker Maruti's Versa, alongside his superstar father Amitabh Bachchan.