Financial Daily from THE HINDU group of publications
Thursday, Sep 25, 2003
New Products & Services
Ford India roll outs SUV Endeavour
Mr David Friedman, Managing Director and President, Ford India, at the launch of the Ford Endeavour SUV in Chennai on Wednesday. - Bijoy Ghosh
Chennai , Sept. 24
"SUV XXL. The largest SUV in its class, the Ford Endeavour is clearly the big brother of SUVs." That is how Ford India describes the sports utility vehicle, the Ford Endeavour, which it rolled out from its Maraimalai Nagar plant, near here, today.
Ford India is bringing the Endeavour as completely knocked down kits from Ford's plant in Thailand, and assembling them at the plant here. The Endeavour has a local content level of 20 per cent, which the company says will go up as sales volumes increase.
CKD kits attract an import duty ranging from 35 to 60 per cent. (Most of the other automobile manufacturers have brought in their SUVs as completely built units, which attract a customs duty of 120 per cent.)
Ford is the last of the major automobile manufacturers in the country to come out with a SUV. Others such as Maruti Udyog, Hyundai Motor India, General Motors India and Honda Siel Cars India Ltd have launched their SUVs in the last few months. The manufacturers believe that the utility vehicle segment both multi-utility and SUVs is a growing one in the Indian automobile market.
Ford India officials told a press conference at the plant to launch the vehicle that the Endeavour will be available at dealerships across the country by October with deliveries starting in November. The Endeavour's price will be announced closer to that date, according to them.
"It will be an affordable global SUV," said Mr Vinay Piparsania, Vice-President - External Affairs and Director - Sales, while Mr David E. Friedman, Managing Director and President, said, in response to a question, that the company hoped to sell "a few hundreds a month".
Mr Friedman pointed out that the utility vehicle segment was the fastest growing segment in the country with a year to date growth of 46 per cent, while the overall passenger car market was expected to grow by about 15 per cent. He was confident that the Endeavour, with its features and positioned as a product with global standards in safety, comfort and performance, would do well in the Indian market. The product had been specially designed for the Asian market and had undergone rigorous off-road tests in South Africa, Australia, Thailand and Japan.
He said that Ford India would leverage Ford Motor Company's global strengths and offer distinctive products. Ford Motor Company was the leader in the SUV segment with a stable of 18 products.
Mr Friedman said that a separate line had been set up at Ford India's plant for the Endeavour.
He would not put a figure on the investment that had gone into this nor the capacity of the line.
The Ford Endeavour is close to five metres long, has a width of 1805 mm and a height of 1835 mm. It comes with a 2.5 litre turbo-charged and inter-cooled diesel engine.
It can seat seven passengers and has power windows, power and tilt steering, three rows of premium velour fabric, personalised dual air-conditioner with dedicated vents for all the three rows, and tiered seating.
Stories in this Section
The Hindu Group: Home | About Us | Copyright | Archives | Contacts | Subscription
Group Sites: The Hindu | Business Line | The Sportstar | Frontline | The Hindu eBooks | Home |
Copyright © 2003, The
Hindu Business Line. Republication or redissemination of the contents of
this screen are expressly prohibited without the written consent of
The Hindu Business Line