CHENNAI, India - The hottest small car in India, Ford's phenomenal Figo, celebrated its first birthday on Wednesday, March 9, in big style. Colourful events held nationwide were attended by enthusiastic Ford India leadership, employees and customers.
Alan Mulally, president and CEO, Ford Motor Company, wished Figo a happy birthday in a specially taped video message broadcast at events in Delhi and Chennai: "Since launching the phenomenal Figo last year, we've sold almost 80,000 vehicles and it has earned more than 20 awards, making the Figo one of the fastest selling and most-awarded vehicles in the Indian auto industry. We are now delighted to export it to more than 50 markets internationally from our world class manufacturing facility in Chennai. I was honored to help unveil it in 2009 and am sending my very best birthday wishes to our customers, employees, dealers and suppliers."
In New Delhi, Ford India's President and Managing Director Michael Boneham marked the occasion with his senior managers, media representatives, and a special guest of honour, Jamie Nualart, the Mexican ambassador to India.
The ambassador noted the great relationship that exists between Mexico and India and congratulated the Ford India team on commencing exports to his country.
In his speech to colleagues, guests and more than 60 reporters, Boneham highlighted the great teamwork and effort by Ford employees in India and around the world to develop the Figo.
He also paid tribute to everyone who helped launch the Figo and has contributed to its great success.
"The Figo has shown that with great power comes great responsibility. With its success, Ford India is set to pursue an aggressive growth strategy that will bring many more new Ford vehicles to India in the near future," said Boneham. "We're hopeful the Figo will repeat its success in Mexico and other export markets."
The joy was shared by Nigel Wark, Ford India's executive director of Marketing, Sales and Service.
"Figo has indeed made us proud,” he said. “It feels so good to see it become the most-awarded and one of the highest selling cars in India. We hope to pass the 100,000 milestone soon."
At Figo's birthplace, the Ford plant in Maraimalai Nagar near Chennai, employees enjoyed a lavish gala luncheon.
The plant cafeteria was decked out to resemble a royal Indian palace with bright decorations, posters and wall coverings. Drummers and waiters clad in royal costumes added to the excitement.
Congratulatory video messages from Mulally and Boneham which were met with cheers.
At noon, the party really came to life when senior plant managers led by Sandip Sanyal, executive director, Operations, arrived to cut the birthday cake.
"When we launched this special small car, there was a lot of anxiety, but we all gave it our best. Today, we are overwhelmingly surprised at its success and popularity," said Sanyal.
For many employees, it was an occasion they will remember forever.
"We feel proud to have built such a world-class car! We're happy about the recognition the Figo has received from customers and hope that it enjoys many more milestones ahead,” said Sivakumar, a Body Shop engineer.
Paint Shop employees, R Anitha and K Anitha added, "We will remember the special lunch and amazing celebrations for a long time."
|Sandip Sanyal, executive director, Operations, centre, and Tom Chackalackal, vice president, Vehicle Operations, right, join the fun.
||Employees in a cheerful mood amongst the lavish decorations in the Chennai plant cafeteria.|