Chennai: Ford India Ltd has expressed concerns over the extended waiting period for its fast-selling model Ecosport. The company is seriously mulling ways and means to increase its supply base so as to avoid losing orders. There have been reports about irate customers opting for models of rival owing to long waiting periods.
Ford Ecosport commands a waiting period anywhere between three and six months.
Assuring that the company is working hard on ramping up production, Ford president Nigel Harris said the company has asked its vendors to increase their capacity to cater to the SUV production demands. “We got orders for 60,000 units and supplied 40,000 units till date,” he said.
However, global raw material shortage seems to be a poser for such expansion. “There is a pressure on materials all around the world. Also, the economic recession was at the peak when we launched the SUV that made us stay careful with volumes,” he said in an informal interaction with the media.
The response to the vehicle was overwhelming as the marketing team went ahead to get good orders early, he claimed. “We hope to catch up with the demand for Ecosport next year,” Mr Harris added.
On a query about whether the slowdown had altered the company’s business plan to launch eight new models by the end of the decade, the Ford managing director said, “We are on target on our plans. The Gujarat plant will be ready end 2014 and the first model will roll out early 2015.”
Refusing to comment on the upcoming models, he said both the Tamil Nadu and Gujarat plants of the company would contribute new cars. Mr Harris also expressed optimism over the Indian car market touching seven million units by 2020 and becoming the third biggest auto market behind the US and China.
Indian economic indicators are strong and the growth in the size of the middle class is expected to fuel demand for cars, he hoped....