CHENNAI, India — For Ford India's fleet fraternity who gathered in Chennai last week for The Annual President’s Dinner, it wasn't just a chance to celebrate but also an opportunity to catch a glimpse of Ford's future roadmap in India and get up close and personal with Ford’s all new compact urban SUV, EcoSport.
The event, which is now become an annual affair, brought together fleet delegates, ranging from corporate CEOs and senior executives, car rental companies, leasing partners, government departments and key financiers.
Fleet, which contributes as much as 40 % of sales of Ford India, has seen tremendous growth over the years and the event stood testimony to the importance the company attaches to its fleet partners and to recognize their contribution.
Over the last year, key segments like fleet management organisations have registered a rise of over 30%, with sales to Government up by an astounding 130%.
"Thank you all for your trust and support that has enabled us to grow and transform our business in India and I hope we will share the future ahead with that same enthusiasm as we continue to expand our line-up,'' said president and managing director Joginder Singh.
He also gave them a perspective of the continued commitment of Ford in India with an investment of USD 2 billion and eight new products the Blue Oval will launch here by mid-decade.
Executive director of Marketing, Sales and Service Vinay Piparsania spoke on Ford Business Centre (FBC), the company’s unique initiative where a dedicated team looks after the fleet segment exclusively and facilitates a better ownership experience. “We understand your needs and with reliable products, growing service network, and a whole bouquet of service offerings are gearing up to ensure lower downtime and peace of mind for you,” he said.
The delegates got a sneak preview of Ford's forthcoming offering in India—the All-New urban compact SUV EcoSport with many cutting-edge technologies like SYNC and EcoBoost.
The background of the stage parted to reveal a Mars Red EcoSport that slowly rolled onto stage accompanied by music, cheering and enthusiastic applause from an expectant audience.
“This will be a real Dhamaka –a thunderstorm of a product-when it rolls out here, something that hasn’t been seen before,” said Singh, introducing the compact SUV amidst the loud applause.
“In addition to expanding our line up, we are also reaching out further to our customers. We had 120 customer touch point not so long ago, then quickly moved to 180 . We will end the year with over 250 customer touch points this year and will double the number of by mid-decade. We are also backing it up with better Road Side Assistance coverage and Quick Lane Centres,” Piparsania added.
"We have had a great experience with Ford, the reliability, fuel-efficiency and value for money of these vehicles is awesome”, said Ajit John, vice president of Operations for Berggruen Car Rentals that operates in 24 cities. “I think the EcoSport will really be another game-changer with its killer looks and amazing features and find favour among all types of customers," he added. His positive sentiments were echoed by M Sarangpani, another delegate from software major Cognizant who said many of his colleagues have benefitted from the Ford corporate sales program.
The delegates had the opportunity to mingle freely and talk to senior Ford management including Singh, Piparsania, PK Umashankar, vice president, Ford Customer Service Division, Anurag Mehrotra, vice president, Marketing, and Shripad Bhatt, head of Government Affairs, among others.
"This is an occasion to thank all of you for your continued support. We look forward to participation, feedback and intense engagement from our fleet partners as we prepare to move to the next phase of growth," said Navneet Singh, Ford India’s National Fleet Manager.
Singh and Piparsania welcome the fleet operators to get a close-up look of the EcoSport on stage.
The fleet operators take a close look at the EcoSport.