Talking to India Transport Portal's correspondent at the new Fiesta unveiling in Select CITYWALK, Saket, New Delhi , Michael Boneham, President and Managing Director of Ford India and Nigel E. Wark, Executive Director for Marketing, Sales and Service at Ford India discussed the plan behind introducing the Fiesta in the Indian market.
India Transport Portal: Why did they unveil the Fiesta at a mall?
Michael Boneham and Nigel E. Wark: Ford India have always hosted launches or unveiling in a hotel or auditorium. For them, it was a first. The reason was quite simple – the Fiesta' target customer who they call "Ajai" frequents such multiplexes and malls. The Fiesta will stay there till July. The car is being setup in an environment they call "Fiesta Cafe" where snacks and drinks are served along with a TV screen displaying the educative features on the new Fiesta the mall-goers can scroll at their will.
India Transport Portal: Where will they position the new Fiesta?
Michael Boneham and Nigel E. Wark: Ford will position the new Fiesta sedan in the premium end of the B-Segment category. Ford will fit the car with 1.6-liter petrol and diesel engines which it claims will be class leading. Changes on the car for the local market include modifications to the HVAC and ride height. A high percentage of localization is expected on the new Fiesta project. Ford isn't introducing the Fiesta with the ambition of outright domination of this segment. It says the car's driver-centric nature will appeal to a good portion of buyers, maybe not all.
India Transport Portal: Why are they calling it Fiesta?
Michael Boneham and Nigel E. Wark: Ford launched the Fiesta Classic earlier this month which is a renamed version of the original Fiesta sold here for the last six years, down-segmented to make way for the new Fiesta. The new car unveiled at the mall will use the "Fiesta" nameplate without any prefix or suffix sticking to the One Ford global strategy. The cars will carry the same nameplate across all regions of the world.
India Transport Portal: What are the chances of the Fiesta hatchback arriving in India?
Michael Boneham and Nigel E. Wark: Ford has no plans to introduce the Fiesta hatchback in India as if fears it will lead to cannibalization with the Fiesta Classic. Ford said the demand of the Indian market on them to deliver a sedan was more than a hatchback. The Figo will be their sole hatchback for now.
India Transport Portal: Are there any LPG/CNG fuel options planned for Fiesta or Figo?
Michael Boneham and Nigel E. Wark: Ford has no plans on fitting its cars with LPG/CNG kits as it believes its more of an after-market exercise for customers. Having said that, it will constantly review if there is a demand. The immediate focus is on getting the eight new products, starting with the Fiesta on the market.