Thursday, January 23, 2014
By Kamal Swami
Ford Mustang to soon kiss Indian Roads
Mustang, the legendary sports car brand from Ford, may well have a date with Indian roads, joining the growing list of fast-paced names making a beeline for the country's rich. With the US carmaker set to get in a right-hand drive version of the model by 2015, India appears to be one of the probable markets where it debuts. "We have a lot of fans of the Mustang in India," Raj Nair, Ford's global chief of product development, told TOI.
For the first time since the birth of the brand in 1964, Ford will offer the Mustang with a right-hand drive version, opening the roads of many markets that were inaccessible earlier. Apart from India, the United Kingdom and Australia are other key markets where the car looks headed for. "The right-hand version will enable us to provide the Mustang to a lot of new markets .India sure is a right-hand market," Nair said, though refusing to confirm its immediate entry. "We cannot speculate on this now." Despite steep import duty and lack of adequate infrastructure like good roads, the market for luxury and sports vehicles has been growing in India. Brands like Porsche, Ferrari and Maserati have already set shop in top metros and analysts feel that volumes will only get stronger once the economy picks pace and the retail presence grows.
Currently, only a few hundred of such cars are sold in the market, and this is abysmally low when compared to sales in markets like the US, China and some countries in Western Europe. The entry of Mustang in India is expected to add a lot to the branding of Ford in India, which so far has been selling cars in the mass-volume segment . The association with an aspirational brand will have a positive rub-off effect on the company's image, officials said. Ford India has been riding high in the domestic market on the success of its entry SUV, the Eco Sport. While the Fiesta sedan and the Eco Sport are already part of its global product launches headed for India, the company is likely to drive in a new compact car early next month.
Source: Economic Times