Tuesday, July 19, 2011
By CarKhabri Team
Ford’s market strategies in India
Michael Boneham, MD of Ford India told reporters that he came to India in 2008 after serving Ford in various countries like the USA, the UK, Thailand and Australia. However the initial sale figures from the early entry of Ford in 1990’s in Indian car market till 2009 were only 30,500 units. Though, Ford Motors is a $129- billion company; which is also the world number Fifth auto MNC.
This new change came after the huge success of Ford Figo. The sale numbers have reached over 1 lakh and the export statistics are at 2,000 cars per month. For being among the top sellers the marketing in small car segment is companies’ main aim now. Also by 2015, eight new launches are in line, and it is obvious for them to be in the compact sedan segment.
Projecting a global growth of 70% in the upcoming 20 years from China and India, Michael Boneham said that company looks India as a hub of sub-car and small- engine designs. The automobile market globally is making a transition in two levels; one from West to Asian markets and the second from heavy trucks to small cars.
Regional and Cultural Difference: India is a versatile country like Europe with a collection of different types of languages, culture and market all in a single country. He informed us about the transfer of Ford headquarters from Chennai to Gurgaon, where he was working since the past 4 years. Huge 20 % sales are registered from the North Indian market alone in the National Capital Region (NCR). Boneham saw a great deal of differences within the North – South India and says the Headquarter Transfer was a critical move overall. He also commented over the cultural differences and the extrovert behaviour of North Indians than their Southern counterparts. Hence all these differences reflect in the buyer’s choice region wise.
Cost –conscious mentality of Indians: Enlightening us further he said that there is a trend globally, in which buyer’s first look at the technical features and the external appearance first then they think about the pricing factor. But Indians on the other hand tend to focus on price tag first then change their priority to resale value and finally after- sales services are being pondered and in the end the looks are viewed. Like their mentality a car should be jam packed with amazing features at a reduced price! The important satisfaction comes with the ownership cost. Hence Fords marketing strategies were changed after learning lessons from Ford Figo launch in India.