NEW DELHI, September 12
It had to happen...Ford India has succumbed to the temptation of providing luxury to the demanding yuppie market by launching the IKON SXi. With an ex-showroom (Delhi) tag of Rs 6.99 lakh, the 1.6 SXi is over Rs 70,000 dearer than its sibling the 1.6 ZXi.
Not to say that earlier Ford products in India were not luxurious. But the fact is, after the phasing out of the Escort, the IKON has been promoted in the mid-size segment as a young, fun and 'image' machine, rather a josh machine.
So won't the josh factor impediment the sales of the SXi, positioned as a Corsa beater, another car heavy on luxury? Or conversely, won't the emphasis on luxury at a higher price erode the josh equity?
Philip G Spendor, managing director, Ford India, thinks otherwise, "The josh factor has different meanings for different people. Right from the well-off college kid to the young CEO, we believe the IKON caters to all their aspirations, be it performance, style or luxury. With the SXi, we hope to deliver that extra dose of josh."
The company targets to sell just 70 SXi's a month, a mere 4 per cent of the 1,750 IKONs it hopes to sell each month. So does that explain Ford's new generic ad campaign promoting the IKON, and not any particular variant?
A market analyst with a leading car magazine fears the worst, "I hope the SXi doesn't go the Daewoo Nexia way - a premium product that didn't sell due to its lack of differentiation from its less illustrious cousin, the Cielo. By not going for a SXi customised campaign, Ford is entering a kind of dangerous territory."
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