Wednesday, Aug 06, 2003
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By Our Special Correspondent
The Managing Director and President, Ford India, David Friedman, said this pricing was possible as Ford India's localisation programme had crossed the 90 per cent mark this year. Indian customers now could opt for a mid-size sedan than a small car.
The Flair is powered by the all-new 1.3 ROCAM engine, which offers a balance of performance and fuel efficiency. The model comes with a host of features including power steering, power windows, central door locking, tachometer, full wheel covers, clear headlamps and a contemporary light truffle interior.
The Vice President (Marketing Sales and Service), Randy Shockley, said Ford India had registered a growth of 28 per cent in the first half (calendar year) and this had been spurred by excise duty reduction, lower interest rates on car loans, and newer models in the market. He said the company had sales of nearly 9,000 units of all variants and hoped to end the year at 20,000 units as Flair had high volume potential. The dealer network was 88 outlets across 72 cities.
The ex-showroom price of Flair is Rs. 4.94 lakhs (Bangalore), Rs. 4.95 lakhs (Chennai), Rs. 4.95 lakhs (Delhi) and Rs. 5.18 lakhs (Mumbai).
K. T. Jagannathan writes:
"More car per car" may be the original ad campaign of the Tatas to lure customers into buying its small car, Indica. Ford India is claiming to provide just that with its launch of Ford Ikon Flair in Bangalore. "Our objective is to offer a bigger `C' segment car at around the same price point as that of a smaller car," says Vinay Piparsania, Director (Sales Operation), of the company.
Though the engine size is small, Ford India is convinced that Flair is indeed a `sedan'. In fact, Ford India will drive this sedan nature of Flair hard in its marketing campaign. Flair could be made a fairly affordable price proposition, thanks primarily to Ford India's effort at localising the production of engines through a tie-up with Hindustan Motors.
Under the agreement, an independent line has been put up at the Pithampur facility of Hindutan Motors to make engines for Ford cars. According to Mr. Piparsania, the power train and gearboxes for Ford Ikon Flair will come from this facility.
The breaking of the price barrier, he feels, will draw more customers towards Ford.
What Ford is hoping to achieve through the launch of Flair is to cut one layer in the graduation process for customers.
The director is confident that Ford India will post incremental growth in sales with the launch of Flair. Will Flair catch the fancy of the Indian customers? One will have to wait a while for an answer. The market, however, appears to be in for interesting days ahead.
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