The story of Ford exiting India is the most significant case study in itself, and for management trainees, it might be a chapter from Peter Ducker. How can an iconic American company like ford, which pioneered the auto industry, wind up after 25 years of its existence in one of the most prominent and growing automotive markets in the world – India? It’s a story that directly affects its 1 million customers and is a black spot in the glowing Indian automotive space. I am sure the decision will be painful for Ford after 2 billion dollars of operating losses, even after having hero products like Ecosport, Ikon & Endeavour. Whether it’s the failed JV with Mahindra or no handshake with Tata Motors? No product lineup for the next three years? Heavy investment in its 460 acres Sanada plant was built to withstand hurricanes or simply not having India-specific products or all of the above. It’s a colossal loss for Indian consumers, and I am sure Ford must be dropping a few tears already.
After General Motors, it was the following big one-way American flight, both of which had two things in standard first its American second they both had plants in Vadodra and Sanada i.e Gujrat. It’s just a freak coincidence that it must be, but in other big American news, Harley Davison has launched Pan American in the Adv space. It’s hard to imagine that, but when a Lamborghini can make an SUV that too a very successful one, then why not? Hyundai remains in the news and has embarked on a new direction, with the i20Nline aiming to appeal to the enthusiast along with the family man, and is a well-packaged product with a sweet spot in pricing. On the other hand, Mahindra XUV700 is wholly set to claim the war on the seven-seat segment with a brand new logo and an aggressive price to features – product.
Automotive space continues to have a demand-supply mismatch, and most products are on a waiting list from MG motors to BMW, and most of the brands in between and what is not selling are shutting their plants packing themselves are on the next flight. But there is plenty of action left, and Indias’ automotive market will always remain one hell of an exciting space. Never a dull month, that is.