CHENNAI, India — Visitors to the opening of Ford’s latest Brand@retail showroom in Chhindwara in central India were given a unique reminder of Ford’s rich history and heritage: a 1929 Ford Model A on display.
The Model A, which remains in immaculate running condition, has been serving the family of local businessman Sandeep Chandak for three generations. Chandak even has preserved the original sales receipt – purchased from Dhannaram Heeralal & Sons – mechanical & automobile engineers/agents for Ford cars - in Nagpur in central India on September 2, 1929 for INR 2,694 (US$46 at today’s exchange rate).
“We thought showcasing this vintage car is a great way to showcase the rich heritage of Ford and its focus on quality. Even today, this is in perfect running condition and used by the owner’s family on an annual trip to a famous temple here. It has also participated in many vintage car rallies,” said Vinit Patodi, dealer principal, Patodi Ford in Chhindwara.
Union Minister of Urban Development and local member of parliament Kamal Nath inaugurated the swanky new dealership located on a main road in Chhindwara, in the presence of Ford India’s general manager for sales, Ruchik Shah and other dignitaries.
“Ford is a great company known worldwide for revolutionising urban mobility and we’re happy that it has come to Chhindwara,” Nath remarked. He also took a tour of the new dealership and checked out some of the cars on display.
“Ford is committed to bringing eight new models into India by mid-decade and we are further expanding our presence into tier-two and three cities to serve our customers better. With this brand new dealership, we hope our customers in Chhindwara and its neighbourhood can experience our world-class cars and service first hand,” Shah said. He also handed over the car keys to seven customers who bought their cars on the inaugural day.
The spacious 10,000 sq ft has been built to meet Brand@Retail guidelines and has a dedicated showroom, service areas and a body repair shop. It also features comfortable customer lounges where they can wait while their car is serviced. Equipped with state-of-the-art infrastructure, the workshop can service about 12 cars a day.
“It is a great opportunity to work with Ford, a company with over 100 years of proud history in manufacturing cars. We aspire to maintain the same standards of quality in our sales and service at our outlet and grow with Ford,” said a delighted Patodi.
The carefully preserved sales receipt of the Model A.
Kamal Nath, Union minister for Urban Development (centre) and Ruchik Shah, general manager, Sales for Ford India (first from left) light a traditional lamp to inaugurate the showroom.
Ruchik Shah, general manager, Sales for Ford India, hands over keys to a customer who bought a Figo on the inaugural day.