As Ford takes the exit route from India, dealers urge govt to step in

Leaving handiest ‘Ford Business Solutions’ operational within the nation, Ford India’s resolution to stop production cars on the market in India right away will have an effect on 1000’s of staff without delay and masses of others in comparable sectors, they stated.

Reacting to Ford’s transfer to forestall automobile meeting at its plant in Sanand, Gujarat, through the fourth quarter of 2021 and automobile and engine production in Chennai through 2nd quarter of 2022, Vinkesh Gulati of the Federation of Automobile Dealers Associations (FADA) advised The Sunday Express that the federal government will have to right away step in and drive Ford India to proceed products and services for a duration that issues to cars it has offered.

Gulati stated Ford India has promised to adequately compensate sellers who proceed their products and services for automobile homeowners. “But that promise is not going to compensate for the huge investments made by dealers. Ideally, the government should step in and ensure that the company continues their services for a deserving period, as they are still selling their vehicles in India,” Gulati stated.

FADA CEO Saharsh Damani advised The Sunday Express: “Ford has certainly said they will continue service support, but once you stop India operations there is a big question mark. Companies leaving India say such things, but it does not work in the long run because there are spare parts issues, manpower issues. Then many dealers will not want to continue.”

FADA stated it’s already flooded with misery calls from fearful sellers. “This will impact dealers, dealership employees and their families. Outside auto retail, component manufacturers who supply Ford in Gujarat and Tamil Nadu will feel the impact,” Damani stated.

He stated: “All developed markets have a Franchise Protection Act. Once this Act is there, companies can’t abruptly exit. They have to give sufficient time and suitable compensation. Dealership agreements then will have a long-term vision. It takes around Rs 5-6 crore to set up a Ford dealership in India. There is specific Ford-related hardware and infrastructure that is of no use once you are not associated with the brand. Dealers are SMEs and family-run partnerships, and this will be the biggest loss in their entrepreneurial career. Ford has 4,000 employees, the dealers have 40,000 employees…”

According to FADA, there are 170 sellers and 391 retailers with an funding value Rs 2,000 crore. “While Ford India employs 4,000 people, dealerships employ around 40,000 people…. Ford India dealers currently hold 1,000 vehicles, which amount to Rs 150 crore via inventory funding from reputed Indian banks… Ford India also appointed multiple dealers until five months back. Such dealers will be at the biggest financial loss in their life,” the car organisation stated in a commentary.

While many Ford staff in Chennai have been reluctant to speak, as they have been nonetheless unaware in regards to the corporate’s transfer relating to their jobs and imaginable repayment applications, no less than two Ford engineers stated they’re nonetheless looking ahead to a verbal exchange about their long run. “Either they will be laid off, or a few may be retained as part of ongoing projects in overseas plants. We have to wait and see,” one among them stated.

R Suresh of Chennai Ford Employees Union stated they are going to get a transparent thought in regards to the corporate’s plan after they meet corporate representatives Monday.

“There are mainly two categories (of staff), including hourly paid technicians and salaried,” Suresh stated. “There are 2,635 technicians in Chennai alone — mostly diploma-holders with an average salary of Rs 55,000. Salaried categories include engineers and those in other senior positions, whose salaries start from Rs 80,000. About 350 of them are in Chennai,” he stated.

“We will not accept anything less than jobs. We will not accept this shutdown; we need jobs,” Suresh added.

NDA best friend and Pattali Makkal Katchi (PMK) chief S Ramadoss has additionally requested the state and Central governments to carry talks with the Ford control to probe choices to proceed their operations. Ramadoss additionally cited the Maharashtra executive’s resolution early this 12 months to reject General Motors’ proposal to near down its Talegaon plant in spite of a repayment be offering.

At Harpreet Ford, an outlet in Delhi’s Moti Nagar, Jitender Sadana, a gross sales consultant, stated cancellations have began since Thursday, the day Ford India launched a video message from its nation head, Anurag Mehrotra, mentioning that “we will be working closely with our dealers”.

Sardana, 44, who has spent 24 years operating with Ford, then again, stated he does no longer know what lies forward.

Damani stated: “This happened just before Ganesh Chaturthi. There has been a lot of backlash from customers. Around 400 vehicles across India that were due to be delivered on this auspicious day could not get delivered because customers are jittery. In fact, there are a lot of customers who had confirmed bookings, but now want a refund. Customers don’t know how Ford will continue servicing their vehicles.”

Sunil Tandon, govt director at Harpreet Ford, stated, “We have multiple dealerships with other car manufacturers in our dealership bouquet, so we will try to absorb as much as we can. I can’t say the same for small dealers. The service section will continue, but the sales department is the worrying part. We will talk to Ford. It is surreal that we began operations on September 9, 1996, and Ford’s announcement came the same day, 25 years later.”

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