Ford Departs India, Closing ‘Taj Mahal’ Plant
Ford Motor Company recently announced that it is leaving India, saying goodbye to all the drivers it had hoped to lure with cars such as the Aspire, Endeavour and Freestyle.
No more aspiring and endeavoring in the competitive waters of India—Ford is freestyling out of the country.
The company will close its plants in Sanand and Chennai, laying off about 4,000 employees.
Hormazd Sorabjee, editor of Autocar India, believes that Ford did not understand the Indian psyche and spent money unwisely. The company reportedly invested about $1 billion on the Sanand plant, which it opened in 2015.
“It is built like a Taj Mahal,” Sorabjee told CNN. “The western manufacturers just don’t think frugal.”
It may be built like a Taj Mahal, but Ford unfortunately could not make any money from tourists. All it could do was churn out cars that were too pricey for most car buyers. The Aspire and Freestyle cost twice as much as the Maruti Alto 800, but didn’t bring out twice as much envy from the neighbors.
After 25 years in India, Ford managed to capture only 2 percent of auto sales in India, far behind the 45 percent market share of Maruti Suzuki and the 17 percent share of Hyundai.
India is not growing as fast as expected.
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Compiled and partly written by Indian humorist MELVIN DURAI, author of the novel Bala Takes the Plunge.
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