Ford to phase out Fusion; focus on Figo

Ford to phase out Fusion; focus on Figo

Ford to phase out Fusion; focus on Figo

Ahead of its ambitious entry into the compact car segment, the company's Indian subsidiary Ford India, today opened 28 dealerships across 24 cities in the country, with small cities (Tier-II, III) as the main target market growth.

"We will discontinue the Fusion...The car was anyway giving us relatively small volumes," Ford India Managing Director and President Michael Boneham told reporters here.
The phasing out is part of a product rationalisation strategy with the firm looking to focus on the compact car segment, which comprises over 70 per cent of the Indian car market that is heading towards the two million mark per year.

He said focus on small cars will be through the Figo which will be launched in March. The commercial production of the car started at the firm's Chennai plant from February 5.

Boneham said the company has aggressive plans regarding Figo and it will be competitively priced.  The segment is currently ruled by Maruti Suzuki, Hyundai and Tata Motors.

"With its (Figo) launch we are to be benchmarked against key competitors," Boneham said, adding that the Figo will have 85 per cent of its components sourced locally.
Ahead of the launch, the company has added new dealers to take the total to 164, across 97 cities. "With the openings today, 40 per cent of our dealers are now in secondary markets and we will further increase it," he said.

"We will increase our network further by 15-20 per cent this year and we have an aggressive growth strategy in Tier II and III cities," Boneham said.
He said smaller cities will play a role in the company's strategy of becoming a key player in the Indian small car market, in which it has failed to make the cut despite having product like the Fusion which could have fitted in the premium compact segment.

The Fusion was launched in the Indian market in 2004 and is available in three variants and the company had promoted it as a combination of a hatchback and sports utility vehicle. As per the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers, sales of the Fusion has been falling rapidly during the past few months with only one unit being sold in December and sales plummeting to zero in January this year.

Ford India has a cumulative sales of 507 units of the Fusion during the April-January period of the current fiscal, as against 1,737 units during the same period of last year.
Ford India currently sells models such as entry level sedan Ikon, sedan Fiesta and SUV Endeavour.

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