Kaushik Prasad

General Manager - Consumer Marketing

The Indian automotive market has seen a barrage of new launches in the last two years from various brands. Is Ford looking forward to any new launches in 2019 and 2020.

In recent years, Ford has introduced new platforms, products and powertrains ranging from Figo, Aspire, Endeavour and Mustang - making our showrooms buzzing with energy with one of the youngest product portfolios on offer. We started the year 2019 with several new product introductions including the New Ford Endeavour and will follow it with the New Ford Figo. Ford’s product line-up today offers what Indian consumers want and value - ranging from entry-level hatchback and sedan in Figo and Aspire – to – CUVs & SUVs in Ford Freestyle, EcoSport & Endeavour. The portfolio in India also includes World’s best-selling sports coupe - Ford Mustang. We look forward to sharing more information about future products at the appropriate time.

Are there any new marketing strategies that you are planning for your new launches?

Marketing strategies need to be aligned to the target consumer’s buying journey and rapidly evolving media consumption habits. Ford has pioneered several innovations during new launches – be it Urban Discovery for Ford Ecosport where we wanted to create authentic conversations on a large scale using the digital platform to generate interest or more recently “Unboxing” of the all-new Ecosport and the 123 Ecosport Sale on Amazon where cars sold out in 2 hours. In today’s cluttered media environment, it is imperative to lead with breakthrough ideas to create disruption and achieve launch objectives. In addition, our focus has also been to build a customer experience that is rooted in trust and transparency.

Since auto manufacturers are known to be traditional marketers largely, I am keen to understand how big your digital pie is, and what are the kinds of channels you use

Today’s car buyer’s media habits are rapidly evolving, the latest Google Auto Shopper study indicates an overwhelming influence of the digital medium on the buyer especially in the research phase. At Ford, we continue to stay ahead of the curve when it comes to reaching the consumer on the digital medium. Our mix on digital has grown significantly over the last several years and is one of the leading ones compared to other auto makers. Ford India was one of the pioneers in the auto category in using programmatic for digital advertising. Additionally we use social channels to reach out to our target consumers. Having said this, all channels of communication that help reach the target consumer is important for a marketer. These include TV, print and out-of-home which continue to have a role in the media mix.

What do you think of changing marketing trends in terms of car ownership vs renting? How do you foresee this market evolving?

Mobility solutions is a rapidly evolving space and Ford is expanding its focus to be both an auto and a mobility company. Ford is pursuing a long-term vision to develop services that make it easier for people to move through cities using multiple modes of transportation. In India, we remain invested in Zoomcar, India’s leading car sharing company, as part of our expansion into mobility space. The investment allows Ford to work together with Zoomcar to help address immediate transportation issues in India. Ford also runs an app based shuttle service in India for its employees in Chennai and IT professionals in Pune and has delivered close to 200,000 rides till date.