Tuesday, October 16, 2012

New Ford Figo facelift hits the road; starting price at Rs 3.85 lakh

Mumbai: Ford India, which launched a variant of its popular small car Figo here on Monday, said it expects the sagging car demand to get a boost during the forthcoming festive season.

"It's a competitive market. Due to high inflation consumer sentiment is down. We will start to see a turnaround hopefully with the festive season," Ford India President and Managing Director Michael Boneham told reporters here.

"We will be seeing a lot of sales, I hope. The order book is looking quite encouraging," he added.

With the new Figo, priced at Rs 3,84,999 for the petrol, and Rs 4,81,999 for diesel (ex-showroom Delhi), the company said that it will stop production of the old Figo.

The carmaker had reported 8.29 percent decline in sales in September at 9,418 units.

Stating that growth has been flat in the recent past, he said, "remember we are all used to the massive growth two-and-half-years ago, we had growth of 30 percent year-on-year. That is not sustainable. I think a 10-15 percent growth is what we need to see. We are looking at the long-term. We are confident that by 2020, this will be our third largest market," he said.

He further said Figo sales are likely to improve with better macroeconomic environment and claimed that year after year the Figo sales have been growing by 10 percent.

On the new plant in Gujarat, where the company has invested about USD 1 billion to build a new manufacturing and engine plant, he said: "We are on track with construction. I went there two weeks ago and was very pleased. We are going to have 3,000 people on site. The first vehicle and engine are scheduled to come in 2014."

Ford currently exports to 35 countries from its Chennai facility, and is also looking at 15 new markets for exports.

Apple iPhone 4, 4S prices slashed in India again

In an unprecedented move, Apple India has slashed the prices of iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S within a week of lowering their retail prices, say media reports. Industry sources have stated that an Apple spokesperson confirmed the second price cut of the last two iPhones. Moreover, the spokesperson also said iPhone 3GS has been discontinued in India, just like in the global market.

After the recent price cut, the 8GB model of Apple iPhone 4 will cost Rs 26,500, whereas the 16GB variant of Apple iPhone 4S will be retailed at Rs 38,500. During the price revision of last week, the prices of iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S were Rs 28,300 and Rs 41,500.

The Apple spokesperson also said the company will retail its smartphones through Ingram Micro and Redington in India now onwards, as reported previously. The former will be responsible for distributing the iPhones for large format retails, while the latter will sell the same via regional channels. This is a shift in gears from its earlier strategy of distributing iPhones via Aircel and Airtel, who bundled it with their own data and call packages.

This means that many cellular operators in India will keep nano sim cards in stock, which are only used in iPhone 5.

Apple is expected to launch iPhone 5, the fastest selling smartphone ever, in India on October 26. It was earlier reported that the 16GB variant of iPhone 5 will cost around Rs 46,000 to 48,000 in India, while the 32GB model is expected to be rolled out at Rs 51,000 and Rs 53,000. The price of the top end 64GB variant of the latest iPhone is expected to range from Rs 58,000 and Rs 61,000.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

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