Ford Ecosport has been a media darling ever since it was unveiled. A striking design powered by a revolutionary engine and most importantly a ground-breaking price point took the Ford EcoSport’s popularity ratings sky high.
However, it now seems most customers would think twice before going ahead with their EcoSport bookings or should they?
There are more than some glaring reasons why Ford appears to have messed up things. Let us take a look:
- Insane Waiting Periods:
At the Goa Media Drive of the EcoSport, Ford’s top honchos were repeatedly announcing that, Ford is NOT like those manufacturers who extort money from its customers and make them wait for eons of years for their cars to be delivered.
After its launch, it appears that things have turned on Ford’s own head. EcoSport is running with waiting periods ranging from 3 months to 12 months for all its variants. So, aren’t you just like THOSE manufacturers, Ford?
Ford took its own sweet time to launch the EcoSport and it was dearly expected of them to have ensured quicker and wider production.
- Price Hike With NO Price Protection
The biggest USP with EcoSport was its extremely good price. Now, Ford has raised prices of all variants of EcoSport ranging from Rs 25,000 to 40,000. More that the price hike, it is the price protection that should have been provided to all the people who have booked their cars prior to the hike! The most atrocious thing Ford has accomplished is that it has asked customers to accept the price hike, even those who had booked the EcoSport before the price hike.
- Rs 5.69 Lakh 1.5L Petrol Manual; Does it exist?
Ford is very aggressively promoting the Rs 5.69 Lakh sticker price tag for EcoSport, which no doubt lured tonnes of people to Ford’s showrooms and in turn book a car in haste and impulse! Now, interestingly, this variant is nowhere to be found! Ford is extremely slow in delivering this particular variant.
Since this variant attracts higher excise duties and hence, costs Ford the most, it is very clear that Ford is intentionally moving it out very slowly! A clear case of marketing something else and providing something else! Dealerships are also discouraging customers to book this variant citing very high waiting periods…!
- Feature Deletion
Very recently, Ford deleted Push-Button Start and Keyless Entry from the Titanium trim citing ‘proper differentiation’ with the Titanium Plus trim as the reason! We ask: Shouldn’t this have been planned before launching the product? What about guys who are waiting for the Titanium variant for the last 3 months? Are you going to provide them with these fitments?
- Dealerships Monopoly:
We have received reports of many dealerships taking advantage of the EcoSport craze and forcing customers to buy optional accessories and insurance from them citing them as mandatory!
Popular demand has translated into the inability of Ford India to overcome the widening demand-supply gap.
Renault India and Tata Motors adopted a very fair approach in similar situations. When the prices of Tata Nano had to be increased, Tata Motors decided to exempt from the price hike those customers who had booked the vehicle before the price rise.
Similarly, Renault India had also protected those customers who had booked the Duster before the price hike. Simply put, if a customer is ready to buy your car and it’s your inability in handing over the car to him, the customer should not be made the scapegoat of a price hike and all the bookings should have been shielded!
Above mentioned reasons as well as the decision to leave a portion of customers out in the open could turn out to be a big blunder for Ford India.
The proceedings risk becoming an albatross around the neck of Ford India. Customers could turn away to Renault Duster as it has minimal waiting periods. Other car manufacturers are also offering massive discounts. We have newer players coming in this very segment! Ford India should have never really dabbled around with these moves, and at least some of them were really unavoidable!