choose what really matters now let me take you down on a trip down memory lane the year is 1995 India’s economic reforms have started paying dividends every Indian has two wishes watch Sachin Tendulkar bat and drive the new ford escort. do you remember the car the bean-like headlights the gliding presence. i’m sure you do forrest court created a new segment in india it definitely wasn’t an entry-level vehicle neither was it a german giant despite all the marketing and symbolism ford escort was not really a success.
I guess people wanted to drive it but not buy it ford india never recovered from that lukewarm debut after more than two decades they’re calling it quits ford will shut down its saunan plant by the end of 2021 and the tamil nadu plant by mid-2022 basically ford is leaving india and they’re not alone earlier general motors wrapped up their indian operations and before them harley davidson did. there is one key difference though ford will continue to offer spares and customer support but why exactly are they leaving simply put the losses were mounting ford india lost two billion dollars in the last decade two billion the indian operations were losing too much money so the company decided it was no longer logical to stay. it’s a straightforward business decision you would say but the bigger question is this why did ford fail in india we’re talking about the fourth largest car maker in the world in 2020.
their total revenue was 130 billion dollars they gave us classics like the mustang the thunderbird and model t this is a company known for dynamic and reliable cars india tripped them up we can think of a few reasons why the indian market you see is very cost oriented we like to see where our money goes for cars that means features does the vehicle have cutting edge technology well ford never offered that but the likes of hyundai for instance did compare that to america ford is a big success there partly because they have captured the pulse of american buyers big cars that make a lot of sound that’s what americans want
in india there is more focus on fuel efficiency availability of spare parts and also resale value ford never offered those either by the time they realized this mistake it was too late new companies entered the market companies that understood the pulse of indian consumers the result was this ford was left with around two percent of the market share the company clearly did not have the the appetite to reinvent the newest model in india is the figo aspire guess when it was launched 2015 it’s almost six years without a single new release it’s a classic sign of a waning brand what happened to ford is a lesson for all multinationals you cannot take the indian market for granted you must adapt reinvent yourself to suit local taste and preferences if you do that the indian market has limitless opportunities look at the top five car brands in india maruti suzuki hyundai toyota kia and mahindra three of them are foreign brands that have conquered indian markets what did they do that ford did not pack their vehicles with the latest features indians love their gadgets and gizmos and these companies obliged at the same time they did not raise prices they struck a balance between cost and features a balanced ford could never strike really and that is why they’re leaving in ignominy.