Car-maker Ford India will continue along its growth trajectory, undeterred by policy uncertainty, now that its fundamentals are in place, according to Joginder Singh, its newly-appointed President and Managing Director.
“Our base plan has not changed. It’s aggressive growth. I believe that it is on track with our $2 billion investment, and the coming launches of 8 new products by mid-decade, mainly in the dominant segment. It also clearly shows in the way our suppliers are coming here with us,” said Mr. Singh, who previously served as Managing Director of Ford Business Services Centre.
``Growth is coming in from Tier-2 and Tier-3 cities, and, accordingly, we are increasing our customer touch points from 125 to 250 by the end of this year, and to 500 by mid-decade, he added.
Mr. Singh’s first task, however, would be to drive the ‘Ecosport’ into the Indian market next year. “I believe it will more than repeat the success of the Figo,’’ he said. He takes over from Michael Boneham, who oversaw Ford’s expansion in India.
Responding to a query on policy uncertainty, Mr. Singh said that as long as the fundamentals were sound, it wouldn’t affect Ford.
“We believe in the India growth story. Per capita GDP and other indicators are good. Policy problems will always come up now and then and business will cope with it. Michael has left us with the dots, all we have to do is connect them now,” Mr. Singh said.
Mr. Boneham felt the interest rates would continue to be a concern. The new Ford Figo’s success could be only judged after the festive season, he felt. “It’s a tough market right now. Interest rates are still high, which is causing a significant impact. While the festive season lifted volumes, we have to see if it is sustainable. Either way, I believe Joginder and the team will make Ford a major player in the market,” said Mr. Boneham, who is retiring in December after spending over five-and-a-half years in Ford India.