Ford India recently hit the headlines by announcing a joint venture with Mahindra, under which both brands will co-develop competitive products, starting with three new UVs with a ‘Ford’ badge. As expected, Mahindra will launch its own equivalent products.
Reports claim that Ford India agreed to the new venture since it has been witnessing a substantial fall in sales. In fact, the month of December 2019, the American-origin brand hit the lowest monthly sales figure in about 10 years
The last month of the decade saw Ford India attaining a sales figure of just 3,021 units while the company was able to hit 5,840 units back in December 2018; a fall of more than 48%. In comparison to November 2019, sales went down by nearly 44% in December 2019. January was the best month in 2019 with sales hitting a decent figure of 7,700 units, but still substantially lower than the numbers showcased by other main players of the market.
If we combine the sales figures for the entire year, Ford India sales account to about 2% of the entire Indian passenger vehicle market. To give a better picture, the market-leader Maruti Suzuki commands over 50% of the total automotive space.
One of the main reasons for this serious downfall is tight competition. With the likes of Maruti Suzuki, Hyundai India, Tata Motors and even Mahindra on the rise, Ford India is slowly being left behind in the volume-sales market. The company has got an excellent portfolio with well-rounded products in almost all competitive segments.
Starting with the Figo hatchback, Ford India has tried its best to make it a fun-to-drive vehicle rather than just another small car with lots of features and impressive mileage figures. The same philosophy applies to its compact-sedan (Aspire) and crossover (Freestyle) avatars as well.
The Ford EcoSport urban compact-crossover is another excellent buy (especially in the ‘S’ format). However, with newcomers such as the Kia Seltos and MG Hector coming with a starting price in the range of a top-end EcoSport, a good majority of buyers often find logic in spending a few extra to get the lower variant of a vehicle of the next segment. To make things interesting, Kia Motors, with its one-product portfolio, sold 1,624 cars more than all Ford India cars combined, in the month of December 2019.
Hence, it is clear that Ford India is going through some rough phases. The new venture with Mahindra & Mahindra promises to make things better and both brands are yet to share more details — such as the launch timeframe, first product launch, etc. — on it. However, we will be able to learn more about it in the coming months.