Companies

As smaller vehicles take centre-stage, India will be key to Ford's global strategy: Mulally

Murali Gopalan Roudra Bhattacharya New Delhi | Updated on March 12, 2018

BL05MULLALLY

India will be a key part of Ford Motor Company's vehicle strategy, Mr Alan Mulally, President and Chief Executive Officer, told Business Line here on Wednesday.

“India is important to us because the vehicles we make like the Figos, the Fiestas or small SUVs are the centre of the market worldwide. That is why you see us making such a focused investment in balancing our portfolio to have an increasing number of smaller and medium-size vehicles,” he said.

According to him, smaller vehicles accounted for nearly 60 per cent of worldwide requirements with medium options taking up 25 per cent. Larger cars make up the balance 15 per cent.

“And this is true worldwide, though countries like the US are different as they traditionally opt for larger vehicles,” Mr Mulally said. It is this large chunk of small vehicles that will be part of Ford's global platforms. Here, 70- 80 per cent of the components will be exactly the same across the chain. Only 20 per cent of the parts could be customised.

“We will actually make vehicles in the same way across the world. A Fiesta in Chennai will be made exactly the same way as in China or the US which gives us the scale with our suppliers and [helps us] bring more affordable products (than competition) to customers,” Mr Mulally said.

Why Global platforms?

Buyers worldwide are clear about what they seek from a Ford family of vehicles.

“They want a commitment that every vehicle, no matter what the size, should be the very best in safety, quality and fuel efficiency at an affordable price,” he said. This is precisely why the auto-maker is going in for global platforms, as this gives it the scale to meet stringent customer needs.

“There is a huge transformation for Ford to bring this vast portfolio of vehicles to everyone across the world,” Mr Mulally said.

The economic slowdown, though, remains an area of concern. The US is recovering from a severe recession while Europe's fragility is hardly any cause for cheer. “We are all concerned about Europe but the good thing is that there is efficient leadership working on solutions to deal with the crisis,” he said. However, Asia-Pacific continues to be “exciting and in the takeoff stage with sustainable growth rates”.

“From our point of view, we see around 5 per cent growth rate in automobile sales worldwide going forward. Ford is well positioned with its investments to accelerate growth in developing markets,” Mr Mulally said.

Published on January 04, 2012

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