NOVI, Mich. - The colors, sounds and smells of India were a big part of the India Day celebration that took place on Sunday, Aug. 14, at the Suburban Collection Showplace in Novi, Mich. Ford is a long-time supporter of the cultural event, which celebrates India Independence Day and is the largest Indian festival in Michigan. In addition to 100 booths offering a wide variety of merchandise from saris and spices to oil paintings and jewelry, the annual event now in its 25th year, also featured live music, dance performances and authentic Indian Food from local area Indian restaurants.
Approximately 25,000 people attended the festival throughout the course of the day. A great many of them stopped to look at the technology in new Ford vehicles strategically located near the main entrance of the exhibition hall. For the first time, a Ford Figo (manufactured in India) was displayed at the event. By all accounts, it generated a great deal of interest, rave reviews and questions about if and when the Figo will be available in the U.S.
A dedicated team of volunteers from the Ford Asian Indian Association (FAIA) along with a team from Ford Marketing and Sales served as brand ambassadors. They drew people from the crowds to have a closer look at the cars and marketing materials. Those people who tested features in a specific vehicle were rewarded with cash prizes and giveaways that were revealed on rub-off prize tickets. Onlookers could also register to win a Ford vehicle (estimated value of $30,000) to be given away in December 2011, as part of the Drive One Tour promotion. Another draw was an X-Plan Pin Number sign-up, which offered discounts to potential customers both in the U.S and India. In all, over 1,000 registrations and sales leads were gathered.
Sy Hafeez, FAIA Marketing Lead described the day as “a smashing success.” He said that Ford vehicles created lot of buzz and were a huge draw at the event. Hafeez credits much of the crowds interest in the Ford display to the efforts of the dedicated FAIA volunteers (Vishal Shah, Sandeep Gupta, Suchit Mate, Sri Ganapathy, Padmalaya Palepu, Niki Mehta, Sarwat Siddiqui, Doraswamy Morasa, Amjad Khan, Nat Girish, Arvin Ramachandran, Jagjit Romana, Anitha Bommanaveni, Milind Kulkarni, Prabhakar Misra (ITO), Satya Chilukuri, Manoj Desai, Radesh Vangipuram, Deepak Patel, Rama Sanghvi, Sai Prasad Viswanatha (ITO), Deepak Chhaya, Sonal Chokshi, Amrit Rangarajan, Arun Pandya, Dipak Patel), who helped the Xperience marketing team and served as Ford goodwill ambassadors to the Asian Indian community.
"Most of the volunteers came in early and stayed longer than their scheduled time. Their efforts were so very much appreciated and I looking forward to work with them next year,” he said. Hafeez also expressed special thanks to his core team volunteers, Vishal Shah, Sandeep Gupta, Suchit Mate and Sri Ganapathy, who helped organize the participation in the event and worked a 12 hour day on Sunday to ensure that Ford’s involvement in the event was “a huge success.”
His opinions were reinforced by Amit Singhi, FAIA president, who said, “Once again we had a very successful event – largely due to the enthusiasm of our dedicated volunteers and strong support from Ford Marketing. Public interest in our Ford products was very high throughout the day, and we will follow-up to convert the interested persons into future customers. The Ford Asian Indian Association takes great pride in driving top-line growth for Ford through these types of brand marketing efforts that are targeted toward the Asian Indian community."
Click here for pictures from this event.
Tour the Ford display: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hl5cZgIheUU
Watch a clip from the Parade: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aeI2byeMTQ4
For more information about the Ford Asian Indian Association, go to the FAIA website at www.faia.ford.com.