While the venture with Mahindra will ensure wider and more frequent offerings from Ford India, the company has created a separate workstream to bring in vehicles such as the Mustang BS-VI in 2021.
The company is also exploring the possibility of adding a couple of more products to Mustang BS-VI from the range of global models like Mustang EV, a Ranger Raptor pickup truck, the Bronco 4X4 SUV and even the Focus RS, a high-performance hatchback, which are under study for India, according to people aware of the plans.
The intention is to reinforce the Ford DNA among prospective Indian buyers, who can now choose from over a dozen brands.
While C- and B-segment SUVs developed with Mahindra will hit the roads in 2022-2023, the US carmaker will continue to refresh its existing portfolio of Figo, Freestyle and EcoSport models with newer engine and transmission options and supplement them with the high-performance cars.
Ford India does not comment on future product introductions and remains committed to bringing what customers in India want and value, a company spokesperson said in an emailed response to ET’s queries.
Having updated its portfolio a couple of years ago, Ford India needs to reinvigorate its products to stay competitive, experts said.
The company has underperformed the overall market and its share has shrunk to 2%, with sales of 17,643 vehicles in the first six months of this financial year.
Ford and Mahindra agreed about a year ago to create a joint venture in India valued at little over Rs 1,900 crore ($275 million). Mahindra holds a controlling stake of 51% in the new legal entity, Mahindra Ford Automotive Pvt Ltd, which is awaiting state-level regulatory clearances.
The Competition Commission of India approved the JV in February and its formalisation, expected in mid-2020, has already been delayed.
“The discussions between Ford and Mahindra on our planned joint venture continue to progress despite delays and effects on the business environment caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. Both companies are working with the governments in Gujarat and Tamil Nadu to receive necessary approvals as soon as possible,” the Ford India spokesperson said.
The joint venture will export vehicles to Ford entities globally and be responsible for expanding its brand in India. Both partners will own their respective brands and operate their own dealer networks to sell their vehicles.