Ford aims to have 500 touch points by 2015 to support growth plans

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Ford India has indicated it would embark on aggressive ramp of its after-sales network in the country and double its touch points over the next three years in a bid to reach and lure more customers for the blue oval brand. This is also part of US carmaker’s strategy to be a strong volume player in the Indian market supported by the upcoming new product launches and capacity expansion.

“Ford is in the middle of strong path in India and our base plan has not changed. Our investment plans and product strategy of launching eight new products by 2015 are on track. Our suppliers are also coming with us with capacity expansion. We are expanding our footprint aggressively. The total touch points will reach 250 by this year and we intend to double this by middle of this decade by covering more tier-II and tier-III towns across the country,” said Joginder Singh, who will officially take over reins from outgoing president and managing director of Ford India, Michael Boneham on December 1.

Compact car Figo, first of the eight proposed vehicle launches for India, was the company’s first game changer in this market and upcoming mini urban SUV will be the next game changer. “The blue oval brand is coming back in a big way with EcoSport next year,” he said, adding that the US carmaker has huge levels of commitment to the Indian market as India, along with China has strong potential to bring major portion of growth in Ford’s car sales in Asia Pacific during the current decade.

Figo has aided company’s plans to turn into a volume player in India with strong sales since its launch in March 2010. Now the company is betting big on EcoSport to take Ford’s presence to higher levels in the Indian passenger vehicle market. The compact SUV EcoSport is slated for launch in early 2013 in the fast-growing and intensely competitive SUV market. Amid overall negative sentiments, the utility vehicle (UV) market in India has been recording a very high growth, driven by new launches of Mahindra & Mahindra, Maruti and Renault, while Toyota continues to record robust growth for its vehicles in the UV segment.

“We are still not a massive player here, but it will change in the coming years. Ford India has grown from the annual sales level of 30,000 units to about a lakh and with exports we are touching 120,000-130,000 units annually. This is in addition to being an export hub for engines,” said Boneham.

In 2011, the company sold 118,270 units that include 96,270 units in the domestic market and exports of 22,000 units of vehicles. During January-October period, the company sold close to 75,150 units in India and exported 21,900 units.

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