Ford Motor Co, the second largest US automaker, has said it wants to use the experience and affordable techniques it experimented with in India to deliver compact models for more emerging markets.
The carmaker is essentially using the baseline strategy employed by its Asian competitors as they managed to outperform the brand in the world’s fifth biggest auto market. The company has been struggling to keep up the pace in India, a market where small, entry-level but powerful cars are highly popular – and the dominating forecast are Maruti Suzuki India and Hyundai. Dwarfed by the best-selling Maruti Suzuki, Ford delivered just 75,000 units during the past fiscal year and holds a three percent market share of the total passenger car market – one of the smallest among global automakers. The US company seeks to secure an increased market share by delivering its first India-prone small car, the Figo Aspire – and the vehicle’s powerful yet fuel-efficient engine would be used by other models Ford wants to export to Africa and Southeast Asia, according to company executives.
“We are being challenged to find engineering solutions at lower costs than we have traditionally been able to do,” commented John Lonsdale, leader of Ford’s B-car program for Asia Pacific. “This market, probably even more than Brazil, is demanding cost strategies and cost structures that are lower than anywhere else,” he added during an interview with Reuters in the western city of Udaipur. The segment is crucial for automakers such as Ford across India and beyond – global sales of such autos are forecasted to jump by at least a third to 11.4 million by 2020, say analysts at IHS Automotive.