Ford India to raise localisation levels


Chennai : Auto major Ford India is adopting a multi-pronged strategy to expand its market share, including raising the local content of its vehicles, expanding the dealer and service centre networks and entering new segments, company officials said Wednesday.

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“We have current set of products and are moving into new segments in which we are not present now,” Michael Boneham, president and managing director of Ford India, told reporters at a company plant at Maraimalai Nagar near here.

He added that the company would expand its dealership and service centre networks to the tier II and III cities and invest $500 million for expanding capacity.

As part of cutting costs, Ford India is now outsourcing the aluminium cylinder blocks from the Pune-based Jai Hind instead of importing them from Europe.

“The local content in our Ikon and Fiesta models are 90 percent and 85 percent respectively,” said Nigel E. Wark, the company’s executive director (marketing, sales and service).

The company has also launched Quick Service concept in its dealership outlets, under which vehicles will be serviced and given back within one hour.

“The concept has been implemented in 24 dealership outlets located in Mumbai, Hyderabad, Bangalore, Delhi and Chennai. We will expand this to other dealerships as well,” Wark said.

Later, Boneham flagged off the 20,000-km Ikon cross-country drive, organised jointly by Ford and Autocar India.

He said the journey would thoroughly test the vehicle as it would traverse different kinds of Indian roads, while touching 26 state capitals and three union territories in 46 days.

During the first quarter of 2009 the company sold around 7,500 units.