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Ford calls it quits

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  • Ford’s inability to compete in a value-conscious market dominated by low-cost carmakers was the catch-all reason for its failure

After much suspense over its continuance in an Indian market where it has barely grown in the two-and-a-half decades of its presence, Ford Motor Co. has downed shutters on its two manufacturing facilities in the country. With it, there would be no more India-made Ford vehicles on sale here. However, it will continue to sell imported four-wheelers, although steep custom duties would mean only high-end vehicles aimed at rich motorists, such as its iconic Ford Mustang, are likely to form its domestic line-up.

Ford’s inability to compete in a value-conscious market dominated by low-cost carmakers was the catch-all reason for its failure. Its India operations had piled up losses of $2 billion over the past decade, and its market share stayed stuck at around 2%. But this wasn’t only because it had no entry-level hot-seller. Its middle-market offerings did not perform too well either, and the few that held promise could not generate the kind of volumes needed for cost viability. That India’s car market has been in a bad way, with sales in decline even before the pandemic, did not help its survival cause. In 2017, General Motors had shut shop. Our car market is now an all-Euro-Asian affair.

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