Ford India’s Steady Growth in April

Ford India, a wholly owned subsidiary of the global automotive industry leader Ford Motors Company, has sold over 9,500 vehicles in April. Ford India has maintained its booming sales trend in the month of April also resulting in a sale of 9,569 units altogether including the domestic wholesales as well as the export units which depicts a growth of 13 percent.

The company has sold 7201 units in the domestic market and has exported 2,368 units last month. The company has seen a 103 percent growth in export which was 1,167 units sold in the month of April last year which depicts a sustained international demand. The export of the Figo Cape Verde has also enhanced the total number of International markets to 35.

“Following a very robust first quarter, Ford India continued to register steady sales growth in April despite an overall challenging auto market,” said Michael Boneham, president and managing director, Ford India. “Our exports are increasing and have doubled since last year, and we have held our own in domestic wholesales, contributing to an impressive 13 percent overall increase in sales.”

Recently Ford India has revealed the interiors of the urban SUV, EcoSport, at Auto China 2012 in Beijing which was earlier showcased at the Auto Expo held at Pragati Maidan in New Delhi in Jan. 2012 where Ecosport has grabbed the attention of a good number of auto enthusiast. Ecosport would be bought into India by mid-decade. It will be manufactured at Ford India’s plant in Maraimalai Nagar (near Chennai). It will also be manufactured in Camaçari, Brazil, Rayong, Thailand, and Chongqing, China.

posted by somdatta.basu @ Friday, May 4th, 2012 Comments Off links to this post
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Ford India Lays Foundation for US$ 1 Billion Plant at Sanand

Ford India is coming up with its new US$1 billion state-of-the-art, integrated manufacturing facility in Sanand and its future growth on the subcontinent. The foundation stone was laid by Ford India at a paint shop area of its new 460- acre manufacturing facility on 22nd March 2012. The ceremony was attended by Micheal Boneham, Ford India’s president and managing director, Industry Secretary, Government of Gujarat, Maheswar Sahu and Felix Guillen, Ford’s executive director of manufacturing, for Asia Pacific & Africa.
The integrated manufacturing facility will be able to produce an additional 240,000 new Ford vehicles and 270,000 engines per year for domestic as well as export markets.

The fully integrated plant will support stamping, body assembly, paint, trim and final assembly. The paint shop will utilize Ford’s eco-friendly rotational dip technology and 3-Wet technology paint processes which improves paint quality, depth and durability.

“Ford is very proud to invest in India during these momentous times of rapid development, economic growth and profound change for India,’’ said Guillen. “Both in Chennai and in Sanand, Ford will create a lasting investment, not just in the physical manufacturing facilities that will be constructed here, but an investment in our workforce themselves and in their communities, our suppliers and our partners, in Gujarat and across India.”

To date, Ford has invested approximately USD 2 billion in India which is expected to grow with the completion of the Sanand integrated manufacturing facility in 2014. The completion of this manufacturing facility will trigger 5000 direct jobs as well as thousands of indirect jobs in Gujarat.

During the global reveal of the Ford Ecosport at the 2012 Auto Expo held at Delhi, Ford has announced that it is going to add eight new vehicles in its array of vehicles in India by mid-decade in order to compete in the dynamic domestic auto market. The first one in the list is the All-New Ford Fiesta, which was launched in July 2011, that boasts of brilliant driving dynamics and overall refinement along with great design owing to which it has generated tremendous interest with Indian customers.

posted by somdatta.basu @ Tuesday, March 27th, 2012 Comments Off links to this post
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Renault unveils its Duster Crossover

Renault Duster
Renault India today unveiled the Renault Duster SUV at the 11th Auto Expo being held at New Delhi. This compact SUV or the mid-size crossover, as Renault wants to call it will soon make inroads to India. Renault Duster will be placed below the Koleos SUV when it lands in India.

Renault, with the Duster plans to broaden its footprint in the Indian market. The Duster boasts of the comfort of a sedan and the bold styling and performance of a SUV. The Duster which will be manufactured in India with high local content and made available in both Petrol and diesel variants will open up a whole new segment in the Indian passenger car market with its premium features, comfortable seating, powerful and rugged performance combined with high fuel efficiency. The Duster is an affordable and trendy offer for all Indian drivers seeking for an exciting alternative to a traditional sedan.

The company expects to launch the Duster in the second half of the current year and with its launch, Renault India, would have a portfolio of four new products spread across a broad spectrum to ensure that it has a wide reach and caters to a wide range of customers. If you might recall, Renault’s introductory product in the Indian market was the Fluence which was launched last year in May followed by the Luxury SUV – the Koleos in September, 2011. Renault India plans to launch a complete portfolio of five new products before the end of 2012.

Speaking to the media Katsumi NAKAMURA, EVP Asia Africa, Renault s.a.s. said` “India is an integral part of our global growth strategy and we are gratified with the way Indian customers have accepted Renault products. The successful launching of three quality products within 8 months is a milestone for Renault not only in India but globally. Renault India is all set to take another firm step towards its commitment.”

Mr. Marc NASSIF, MD Renault India said “We have come a long way to what we had committed two years back to our Indian customers on the previous Auto Expo. The PULSE is a product designed and developed by our India design studio at Mumbai, focusing on the Indian customer’s aspirations, tastes and preferences. We are very optimistic about the performance of Renault’s first mass segment product and expect the PULSE to add a new chapter to Renault’s growth story in India”.

When the Renault Duster hits the Indian market, it will be priced competitively and will go head on against the new breed of compact SUVs or Compact Utility Vehicles such as Ford EcoSport, Maruti Suzuki XA-Alpha and many other CUVs in the pipeline.

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Ford unveils EcoSport SUV in India

Ford EcoSport Unveil
Ford India just unveiled its EcoSport SUV in India and we did stream the proceedings live as we had earlier stated. The Ford EcoSport marks the entry of the second product from the Global One Ford product line out of the slated 8 models. The first from the One Ford product line up was the Ford Fiesta.

Ford Motor Corporation following the new “Kinetic Design Language” has also extended the design language towards the Ford EcoSport too. The design the EcoSport wears is also called the tear drop design which again is an extension of the Kinetic design philosophy. The EcoSport features an inverted trapezoidal grille that gives a strong and proud look. The design itself imparts a visually premium feel reflecting customer aspirations.

mICHEAL bONEHAM DURIN G THE LAUNCHeco1

Though the Ford Ecosport classifies in to the SUV category, it is best described as Compact Utility Vehicle (CUV) because of its diminutive size, a far cry from the regular SUV’s size. The CUV will be showcased at the 2012 Delhi Auto Expo.

The Ford EcoSport CUV will feature the famed 1.0liter EcoBoost petrol engine, a diesel option of the same is on the works and will soon see the light of the day. Ford EcoSport SUV is essentially based on the B-Platform, the very same platform which the all-new Ford Fiesta Sedan is based on. As we had mentioned earlier, the Ford EcoSport will be powered by a 1.0 litre EcoBoost petrol engine, which also features turbocharging, direct injection and variable valve timing technology which translates as both powerful and fuel efficient. The green brigade also can heave a sigh of relief as the emissions emitting from this engine is quite low. You will read more on the Ford EcoBoost engine in our other blog.

Though we have not got the dimensions figures of the Ford EcoSport yet, but we presume that the CUV will certainly be well within 4 meters in length and will qualify for a tax rebate that Indian government has already set aside. This also means that the Ford EcoSport will be well within everyone’s reach. Again, if we look at the broader picture, Ford with its EcoSport will fleece other car makers of their livelihood and could also become a mass volume player.
The Ford EcoSport was launched in the presence of Alan Mullaly, Ford’s global CEO. He was here when the Figo was launched at the same venue couple of years ago. His presence can only mean one thing…Ford EcoSport is the next Figo in the making…

Ford EcoSport features a fresh design which is unboxy, friendly and contemporary. The EcoSport, Ford claims, is an urban SUV which is “Ready to work and Ready to play”. Top Ford executives who were at the launch also did say that the Ford EcoSport was “Right sized and Right Shaped”. The design of the Ford EcoSport makes it look macho and gives the driver a commanding view. The Ford EcoSport can boast of an imposing stance which emphasizes ruggedness and yet indicates a sleek in profile look.

FordEcoSportPreview_01

During the launch, the Ford executives also touched base on many other points. Amongst the interesting ones were that Ford India, when it inaugurates its Sanand plant, will create 5000 new jobs in the process. They also mentioned that the Ford was committed to come out with innovative cars for the small car markets that are more aspirational. The products, be it engines of cars that will be produced in India’s Sanand or Chennai plant, will reach not only India but beyond. Ford India aspires to produce 4,44,000 cars annually by 2014 in India. With the rate Ford India is catching u with other major players, we just hope that Ford India reaches that goal.

FordEcoSportPreview_03

The Ford EcoSport is making its global debut tomorrow morning during the Auto Expo. Stay tuned to Carazoo.com. We promise to bring in lots more …

posted by carazooblog @ Wednesday, January 4th, 2012 Comments Off links to this post
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Hyundai India mulls of bringing in a Compact SUV

Hyundai Velostar

Hyundai Velostar


Hyundai India has been around quite some time now. Precisely 15 years and counting… In all these years the South Korean auto major has seen tremendous success for its cars in India. Hyundai India, for every right reason has been crowned as the second largest car maker in India and in an attempt to hold on to the title, Hyundai has come out with some outrageous products recently to reaffirm the trust the people have kept in the brand.

The product portfolio of Hyundai India includes entry-level small compact cars, premium hatchbacks, sedans and SUVs. But Hyundai India probably is not very satisfied with this product line up and wants to have a compact SUV in its lineup. By the way the Compact SUV market is the IN-thing now in India and we can see that every other automobile major wants a piece of the cake and are all in the process of launching their own versions of compact SUVs.

Hyundai probably sees that the time is right now to launch a compact SUV and it is all set to unveil its concept version of the compact SUV during the 11th Auto Expo to be held at New Delhi next month. Of course, there certainly is a catch here. It is very likely that Hyundai India will take advantage of the lower tax rates on models that are shorter than 4 meters and in the process launch a compact SUV. But mind you, the details of the compact SUV from Hyundai at the moment is very sketchy and nothing is concrete.

2012 Ford-Ecosport Compact SUV

2012 Ford-Ecosport Compact SUV

Now back to Hyundai India’s Compact SUV story, the Korean major also will be showcasing its crossover utility vehicle, the Velostar at the expo. The Hyundai Velostar was a runaway hit in the U.S. and Hyundai wants to recreate the same magic here but it would wait to see people’s reaction towards the vehicle at the Expo.

Coming to story behind the models that shorter than 4 meters rule, Back in 2006, when the Union Budget was tabled, the then Finance Minister P.Chidambaram had doled out special benefits to small cars to boost the local production and promote India as a global small-car manufacturing hub. In the process, it was proposed that an 8 percentage point excise duty reduction of 16 percent for cars shorter than 4m and with petrol engines displaying less than 1,200 CC or diesel engines smaller than 1,500 CC.

Like we had mentioned earlier, there are many players looking to exploit this loophole. Premier Automobiles, last year came out with Premier RIO petrol and this year introduced the diesel version of the compact SUV. Following them are Mahindra and Mahindra who are all set to launch their Mini Xylo sometime next year. The development stage is over and test mules have been spotted more than a few times by eagle-eyed auto aficionados.

Renault India and Nissan India have also confirmed their plans to launch their respective versions of compact SUV (Renault Duster) which likely is to be priced at Rs. 8-10 lakh bracket. Ford India is all set to come out with Ford EcoSport compact SUV soon. What’s more? Even passenger car market leader Maruti Suzuki has jumped in the bandwagon and will launch its own compact SUV in a couple of years span. This domino effect started after the fast growing SUV segment began eating into the small car market share in India.

Mahindra Mini Xylo rendering

Mahindra Mini Xylo rendering

As far as the compact SUV segment is concerned, this is fast growing in India and if MUVs, MPVs, SUVs are all added up, the segment accounts for almost 18 percent of the total market, which again is a considerable sum and every auto maker would drool to have a piece of it. The changing mindset of customers is to be blamed for this as the demand for SUVs is more and people aspire to own one.

posted by carazooblog @ Thursday, December 8th, 2011 Comments Off links to this post
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Delhi Auto Expo 2012 to witness 55 new models

11th Delhi Auto Expo
Things might be looking bleak at the car sales front for most of the makes in India, but that has not stopped the enthusiasm of the car makers to bring in newer models to India. Next year during the 11th Delhi Auto Expo, the country might witness a slew of launches amounting for more than 55 new product launches.

If you might recall, the 10th Auto Expo held at New Delhi in 2010 had seen 50 launches, including 10 global launches. That was when the market was robust (read alive and kicking). This time around, there will be more than 50 participants against 42 participants who had turned up for the event last time.

The lineup for this year will see the new players such as French auto major Peugeot Citroen, Super sports car maker Bugatti, Japanese commercial vehicle maker Isuzu, Kamaz Vectra, a Russian company that makes trucks in India, local name Garware Motors, which has started selling Hyosung superbikes, Daimler Commercial Vehicles, BMW Motorrad, off-road vehicle maker Polaris and the UK-based Triumph Motorcycles.

The much touted Tata Nano competitor, Bajaj Auto’s much awaited small car also will be unveiled in the show. This car boasts of an unmatched best-in-class mileage which is going to kick start the proceedings at the 11th Auto Expo. This launch is very vital for Nissan-Renault combine as it has for the for the first time has partnered with Bajaj Auto to come out with a low cost product in the market which again can make or mar the product.

Likewise, India’s largest car maker Maruti Suzuki will be unveiling two cars at the show including a concept sports utility vehicle which the company is mum about. Tata Motors also might come out with their own concept car. But if you were thinking Tata to showcase the diesel Nano during the Auto Expo, think again, as the Indian Auto giant has no such plans at least for now.

Peugeot is expected to showcase its 508 Sedan, the first product it will launch in 2014, apart from other cars it plans to bring to India. Renault on the other hand has confirmed that it will be launching its small car, the Pulse at the Expo. The car was first showcased during the inaugural Indian GP held at Noida last month. Ford India, which has seen tremendous growth in the past couple of years since the launch of its Figo model will launch the EcoSport, a mini SUV at the Expo.

In a bid to promote the electric vehicles, the organisers will for the first time have a procession and companies expected to participate in this segment include General Motors, Tata Motors, Renault and Maruti Suzuki, among others.

The 11th Auto Expo to be held in New Delhi will also boast of the presence of super luxury brands such as Ferrari, Porsche, Maserati, Lamborghini and Rolls Royce that will add the much need jazz and flair to the event.

Watch out for this space for more info on the 11th Auto Expo to be held at New Delhi in January 2012.

posted by carazooblog @ Monday, November 21st, 2011 Comments Off links to this post
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