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Social media marketing is one thing no carmaker can afford to avoid. But when a car starts tweeting you know that the trend has reached its next level. So, when AJ a 2011 Ford Fiesta model started sending tweets everyone sat up and noticed. Many a times a products effectiveness and popularity is checked by how many communities it has and what is the fan base. This makes social networking and microblogging impossible to ignore for a carmaker as people are getting more and more tech-savvy.
Several hatchback makers in the country are facing delivery backlogs owing to a great demand in the market. Among those carmakers facing this issue is Ford India. Ford launched Figo a few months ago and the car hit the bull’s eye for Ford. Bookings are pouring in faster than the carmaker can deliver and now the company is staring at a backlog. As per reports in the media, Ford India has firmed up its plans to clear the supply backlog of Ford Figo by this month end. Michael Boneham, president and managing director, Ford India, told a news agency, “Presently, we have a backlog of about 6,000-7,000 units of Figo. We hope to deliver these by end-July. We have increased our Chennai facility’s production capacity from one lakh units to 1.40 lakh units per annum with the addition of the second shift. We are confident of catering to the demand for the Figo. The Chennai facility can manufacture up to two lakh units in three shifts per annum. The Figo’s success has exceeded expectation in terms of sales and target markets. Our debut compact car offering is being very well received by a wide-range of customers in India. The Figo will help us to increase our marketshare in the coming days.”
Backlogs are both a good and bad thing for carmakers. While the backlog shows that the vehicle is in demand, it also repels some prospective buyers who might opt for the closest competitor. Something similar is happening with Ford Figo as the company is seeing an overwhelming domestic demand for Ford's small car Figo.
Ford Fiesta has been a beloved mid-sized sedan on Indian roads for quite some time now with its superb style quotient and great engine performance. The car has been churning good sales volumes for the company till date. However, this stability seems to be at stake as Volkswagen is all geared up to launch a new mid-sized sedan on the Indian roads soon- Volkswagen Vento.
US auto major Ford has a reason to smile after the success of its recently launched hatchback Ford Figo. The car maker is all set to come up with a smaller car than the Ford Figo, which is code named ‘B156’ and might hit the market by 2011. And this is not where the good new ends for the company is also looking to foray into the compact sports utility vehicle (SUV) segment. The new compact SUV is expected to be based on the Ford Figo platform. To add to the list is the hatchback version of the Ford Fiesta. Till now Ford Figo has sold over 16,000 units, and there are bookings for another 21,000. Ford India managing director Michael Boneham had told a national daily about the small car that “As a policy, we do not develop any car for a single market so this is being developed on a global platform....we need to have multiple products in the small car space.”
With a foray of cars being launched across various segments and many soon to be launched, the year 2010 is offering great bucks to major car makers including Maruti, Ford, Tata, Fiat, Skoda and many more. Lets have a glimpse of what each of these Car makers have in their respective stables for Indian car buyers.
When Ford launched Figo at an attractive price of Rs 3.29 lakh (ex-showroom, New Delhi) it kick started an all new price war. With a low price tag and all new features and design the Ford Figo received amazing response. So, much so that it has kept other market leaders like Maruti and Hyundai on their toes. But the car might soon loose the attractiveness of its price tag due to inflation and changes in other price affecting factors.
In a recent visit of two days by CarDekho to the Ford's manufacturing plant at Henry Ford road in Chennai, the mechanisms used at every stage of Ford car's production took our breaths away. The facility is widely spread and has designed a customized robotic mechanism for every phase of manufacturing except the assembling of glasses. We found out a niche that Ford has imbibed in all its cars, due to which one does not need to change every part on damage. Having a look of all the sections in the plant it is pretty simple to assume that Ford has invested a lot in making the manufacturing unit and the work experience for its employees class apart. The unit presently has a staff of 4000 employees, but with the escalating demand of Ford Figo the company is keen on increasing production by increasing the number of shifts over time.
Ford India reached another benchmark by rolling out the 1,00,000th Ford Fiesta from its Chennai manufacturing facility. The company has been in the news lately for its brand new hatchback Ford Figo. According to Michael Boneham, Ford India president and managing director, “After a terrific sales record in March-April the rolling out of the 1,00,000th Ford Fiesta is a new milestone for us.
The Ford Fiesta falls in mid-size car category and the Ford Fiesta provides a highly stable ride along with high comfort levels. Ford Fiesta is designed specifically for India and therefore performs well in Indian conditions. Ford Fiesta has always been one of the most sought after sedans in its segment. The April sales figures of the Ford Fiesta were also pleasing and the car managed to sell 7,509 units in April this year while it was able to sell 2,034 units in the corresponding month last year.
Ford has intensified the competition between small-car makers by pricing its Ford Figo at Rs 3.5 lakh. So, now Maruti Suzuki, General Motors, Volkswagen and Hyundai would be slugging it out for a piece of the lucrative market. And they would soon have Nissan and Toyota for company as the two carmakers plan to launch cars priced around Rs 4-lakh. Here is an overview of some of the options available in the small cars segment:
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