American auto major Ford is betting big on high-performance cars for the Indian market to boost its share in the country market. The strategic move comes at a time when Ford is waiting for its joint venture with Mahindra & Mahindra to be approved.
Despite being present in the Indian market for a long time, the maker of Mustang has not been able to grab a significant chunk of the market share in India, like its rivals from Japan. For example, the US-based automaker’s market share shrunk to 2% between April – September of the current financial year, with 17,643 units sold.
As per a report, Ford India has created a separate workstream to bring in its high-performance vehicles like Mustang BS-VI, which will arrive in 2021. Apart from that, the carmaker is also mulling the idea to bring in models like Mustang EV, Ranger Raptor pickup truck, recently unveiled Bronco 4×4 SUV along with a high-performance hatchback. Ford is reportedly studying the feasibility of launching these models in India.
Ford India is working with Mahindra & Mahindra under its joint venture with the Indian automaker, where the American brand owns 49% stake and Mahindra has 51% stake. The joint venture worths more than Rs 1,900 crore and christened as Mahindra Ford Automotive Pvt Ltd. The Competition Commission of India (CCI) has already approved the Ford-Mahindra joint venture in February 2020 and currently awaiting state-level regulatory clearances.
Under this joint venture, vehicles will be exported to Ford entities across the world alongside expansion in India. Both Ford and M&M will own their respective brands and operate their own dealership networks to sell their vehicles.
The formalisation of the joint venture was expected in mid-2020 but has been delayed due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Currently, both the auto companies are working with the governments in Gujarat and Tamil Nadu to receive necessary approvals as soon as possible.
Under this JV, the two auto brands are working on C and B segment SUVs that will hit the Indian roads in 2022-2023. Besides that, the US-based auto major will also continue to refresh its existing portfolio that includes models like Figo, Aspire, Freestyle, EcoSport, Endeavour etc.
These models will get newer engines and transmission options. The automaker has updated its entire portfolio couple of years ago and now its appears to be in need of revising the products to stay competitive.