It is of no secret that Ford India Private Limited’s torch bearer in sales in the current product line-up is the sub-compact SUV, the EcoSport. But with the arrival of Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza and the Mahindra TUV300, customers visiting Ford showrooms have had other options to think about as well. Subsequently, the Vitara Brezza has been doing phenomenal numbers as it blazed past the EcoSport in March 2016 sales with 5,563 units as opposed to 4,456 for the benchmark Ford product.
However, it cannot be said that the popularity of the Ford EcoSport has declined as still over 3,000 examples were averaged in the last fiscal. On the other hand, the American manufacturer’s growth has been stumbled by the two reasons: 1. Lack of products in its portfolio and 2. The existing models have floundered to deliver.
As part of multi-product strategy, Ford introduced the new generation overhaul of its once-successful Figo hatchback and a sub-four metre sedan, the Figo Aspire, based on the same last year. Although at the closing months of last
year, the Figo endured a sales surge, it has since been facing the downward curve.
In contrary to its hatchback sibling, the Aspire was a resounding success at the launch as it toppled the Honda Amaze in the August 2015 sales and was predicted to give the Swift Dzire a tough run for its money. But with the lack of novelty factor, the sale has slowly diminished and it hit a new low in February with only 855 units totally retailed.
This accounts to about 60 percent dip for the Figo in the half-year period between October 2015 and March 2016 and 74 percent decline between August 2015 and March 2016 for the Aspire sedan. In these strenuous times, Ford has had no choice but to slash down the production of the Figo twins according to Money Control.
The report said Ford has brought down the monthly production of both the Figo hatchback and the Aspire sedan by half their targets at the manufacturing facility in Sanand, Gujarat. The combined production of these models has been scaled down from an average 20,000 units to 10,800 units per month.
The vast Sanand plant operates a single shift and that the production requirement is only in three quarters of the revised numbers explained the report. While the common speculation indicates that Ford couldn’t keep up with the marketing push of the top-guns like Maruti Suzuki and Hyundai, the other major headaches from export assignments in the Gujarat plant.
Currently the Ford models are shipped to Middle East, South Africa and Mexico but the initial plans to begin exports to Europe as early as in the start of this year have been delayed for some internal reasons. With the facelifted EcoSport expected to make its way to India only in 2017, the lack of products in the pipeline could only rub salt in their sales slump.