NEW DELHI, India – Ford India, preparing for next month’s launch of the all-new Ford Figo, today opened 28 new authorized Ford dealer facilities in 24 cities, improving market availability and service facilities for its full line of vehicles.
The new retail stores bring Ford’s dealership total to 164 facilities located in 97 cities across India. In the past two years, the number of cities with a Ford outlet has jumped more than 30 percent.
The introduction of the new Ford Figo marks a significant shift for India’s role in the global ONE Ford strategy that is transforming how Ford brings more small cars to market. After a $500 million investment that doubled annual production capacity to 200,000 units, the integrated Chennai manufacturing facility is now positioned as a Ford regional center of excellence for small-car engineering and production.
Ford Figo models will be produced at the plant for export to international markets. The plant is also being groomed to produce diesel and petrol engines for local vehicle production and export within Ford’s Asia Pacific and Africa region.
The Ford Figo is designed and engineered to compete in India’s small car segment, which accounts for more than 70 percent of the new vehicle market. It leverages Ford’s small-car platform architecture, sharing underlying technology with the Ford Fiesta, already familiar to Indian drivers.
As part of the company's intensified business development efforts supporting the launch of the new Figo, Ford has set out on an aggressive growth strategy, particularly in Tier II and Tier III cities.
“Growing our dealership base, building strong business fundamentals and getting closer to our customers are areas of high priority as we gear up to launch our new Figo and enter this high volume segment in 2010,” said Michael Boneham, president and managing director, Ford India.
“Tier II and III cities are significant for Ford. We have opened new facilities in 13 Tier III cities today, and more than 40 percent of Ford service outlets are now located in secondary markets,” added Boneham.
Placing dealerships in close proximity to city centers – where they are conveniently located for customers – has been a core focus area for Ford as the company continues to broaden its product portfolio.
“As we expand, we are making sure that our low cost of ownership message is heard by people making buying decisions,” said Boneham.
Both the existing and new Ford dealerships are committed to offering customer-friendly after-sales support and efficient service. Various packages, including Total Maintenance, Extended Warranty, Roadside Assistance and Scheduled Service Plans are offered by Ford India outlets.
Enhancing the ownership experience is Quick Service, a unique vehicle servicing process that allows routine service to be performed in less than 90 minutes. Quick Service bays are available in 45 dealerships across India.
All the newly-inaugurated showrooms are Brand@Retail dealerships built according to Ford’s global standard to improve the ownership experience and ensure a long-term association with the Ford brand.
Customers are encouraged to familiarize themselves with the vehicles, receive demonstrations from sales consultants and take test drives of their favorite Ford vehicles, enabling them to make a well-informed purchase decision.
Ford India has been working with its dealer body to ensure facilities meet specific requirements. Dealer staff members are trained according to Ford’s global guidelines to provide higher standards of professional service to customers. To meet the demands of increased volume selling, Ford India has tripled its dealer sales consultant staff from 480 in 2009 to nearly 1500 this year.
In the past two months, over 1700 dealer personnel from 97 cities have attended in-depth training sessions on Ford Figo.
New facilities have opened in New Delhi, Sangrur, Haldwani and Gwalior in the North; Durgapur, Dhanbad and Guwahati in the East; Hyderabad, Chennai, Warangal, Vellore, Salem, Vijayawada and Malappuram in the South; and Bilaspur and Mehsana in the Western region.
Also as part of the expansion is a new showroom in the East Delhi Metro Rail Station. This new showroom provides visibility and convenience in a high traffic location and makes it more convenient for customers to shop for Ford vehicles. This is the first Ford showroom located in a metro rail station in the Asia Pacific region.
New showrooms and workshops also are now located in Jaipur, Thane, Ahmednagar, Pune, Vapi, Ahmedabad and Cochin.