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End of the Road for India's josh machine: The iKOn

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EXCLUSIVE!: The inevitable has happened. Ford dealers have stopped keeping stock of the Ikon model as numbers have started to dip and interest has waned in its 12-year old model. Dealers in most part of the country are refraining from taking any fresh orders on the car and most are now clearing out their remaining stocks. In fact in January, Ford sold zero Ikons, going to show that the company indeed is gearing up to discontinue it.



According to sources, the Ikon numbers have dipped sharply ever since Ford discontinued the model from 13 cities that conform to BS-IV norms. This has led to dealers even based in BS-III cities to go through stock taking and reduce their inventory levels of the car. Sources suggest that the model could be discontinued very soon.

The Ikon has been in production since the second half of 1999 and has been one of Ford India's important models. Developed specifically for India and exported to many emerging markets as well, the Ikon became an instant hit because of its price as well as fun-to-drive factor. It was initially offered in three engine variants

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I would not call it as end of the road, but should say New Road to India's Josh Machine. I am really happy to see Classic Fiesta taking the place of Ikon.

Now we need not have to spend our fortune to own a fun to drive, good looking and FE car. Now I see some motoring enthus who plans for New Swift/ Punto moving towards C.Fiesta because of its price. 

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It's competitor the Accent (doing something like 1000 units a month) still soldiers on, wonder when it will be shown the door. With Fiesta going classic, I think the used Fiesta's will be very attractive. Imagine the plight of owners who have shelled out almost 10 lakhs otr for the TDCI topend Fiesta's. No wonder Ford's don't have good resale. Ikon's depreciated pretty bad. So Fiesta's going to continue that trend.

Durango Dude2011-02-09 12:08:27

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The Ikon helped establish Ford in India and the 2005 Fiesta helped Ford to maintain momentum in India until they got serious about competing in India. I personally feel Ford could have paid more attention to India even though it was a small market in the past. Selling only one mainstream model doesn't help.

Though it didn't make any business sense to bring new models here, it could have helped Ford gain the reputation of Toyota or a Honda in India. So they had to start all over again.

However , they would have not gone the Opel,Daewoo way. Opel was discontinued to make way for a global brand - Chevrolet rather than Opel -a regional brand only sold in Europe and a handful of countries while the corporate Daewoo declared bankruptcy and the entire group was auctioned. Product inadequacies have nothing to do with them . Before declaring bankruptcy, Daewoo was the fourth largest carmaker in the world ahead of VW and behind GM,Ford and Toyota .

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Ford India started with the M&M support in India and introduced the Ford Escort, a mid sizer.I am not sure but had read that it was M&M 's idea (fuel economy) to fit this car with a 1.3 L petrol and a 1.8 L diesel.The diesel was OK but the petrol was underpowered.

Ford's reputation had taken a beating and the costly spares made things tougher.Finding the sailing in rough seas tough, M&M (by now an expert in shrewdly exiting JV's) soon exited the joint venture (JV) and the Ford, Marimalai Nagar plant became operational with a higher capacity. The M&M Nashik plant assembly had stopped.

Then came the Ikon with a peppier petrol and also its diesel option.The spares were still very costly.

Soon they realised that they would be shown the door (so what if they had JOSH? smiley1.gif ) and thats when the spares were subject to a price correction. The Ikon sales had now picked up.The Fiesta came along, with the Ikon staying as a cheaper option and these moves resurrected Ford.

The Figo and a new Fiesta will see the company doing well in 2011 and even later.

The Ikon can take credit hence of having been the first Ford  to improve the company's fortune in India.

anjan_c20072011-02-09 14:39:42

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No one would ever dare to make an alliance with M&M and i see no reason for a joint venture in India. I think its not required by Indian law unlike China. Correct me if I am wrong.

To have survived the period u have mentioned and emerging strongly from that should be an achievement . Kudos to them. Would Renault recover like that? I mean their reputation is damaged . Why didn't they sue M&M for breach of contract and defamation.

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Ford India Phases Out Ikon

Ford_Ikon_iKool.jpg

Ford India has finally phased the Ikon from the Indian car market

after a 12 year long journey with 1,34,000 units being sold. The Ikon

had already stopped selling in metro cities last year due to Bharat IV

norms and from 1st February, 2011 the company withdrew the model

altogether after having sold 0 (yes, zero) units in January. Ford Ikon

owners need not worry as the company will continue to support them with

spares and service. The Fiesta Classic will replace the Ikon when the

new Fiesta goes on sale later on in 2011.

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Ford Ikon was the first attempt by a top automobile company to produce a car exclusively for Indian customer not merely adapting a existing car for India.

The reason for success of Ikon was down to the versatile Fiesta platform which had saved Ford earlier in mid 70s in Europe and America and is responsible now for pushing Ford car to Top 10 slot in India in form of Figo.

What Ford Ikon bought to Indian Automotive sector-

1.rear seat comfort in a compact Midsizer which is still good inspite of Newer competitors

2.1.6 ROCAM - a true driver's car engine

3.Brilliant Diesel engine - Understood the market requirements for a good diesel even before this trend towards Diesel started  though it did not capitalise well enough

4.Excellent Chassis - Responsible for JOSH character.

5. Multi engine options to suit every pocket - 1st time for a compact mid sizer

6. The integrated Boot was done flawlessly - Maruti learn from Ford

What it didn't change-

1. Costly spares

2. Inefficient petrol engines

3.Unreliable Service

Its been a good 12 years since it was launched and I had an opportunity to drive a Ford Ikon Flair few weeks back

My review( short) -

 The Front seat lacks underthigh support and I feel as if I am perched up in a tree

- slick gearbox

- excellent rear seat and quality still better than Dzire

- Equipment levels good though safety has been given a miss

- Engine 1.3 ROCAM - not impressed with the Noise but it is an old car so I will not give opinion further

Impression - I loved Ikon and wanted to buy it but after getting acquainted with it breifly - I felt happy that I gave it a miss

Conclusion - It was a truly revolutionary car and I am happy that its genes survive in Figo phenotypically even though not genotypicallysmiley2.gif

Hats off to Ford for Building this carsmiley32.gif

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Thousand Salutes to this car.

Its not the End of Ikon car, instead its the end of a Product Brilliantly designed & Calibrated for Driver with Exactly Inherited DNA/Traits of its family of Mustangs & GTs. Practicality & Efficiency needs have Overtaken the Heart's demands. Even today after sitting in the Driver Seat of this car, Its only the SuperNatural Power, which will stop your Heart to flow enthusiastically in Real Ford theme, aka Ikon theme.

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6. The integrated Boot was done flawlessly - Maruti learn from Ford

I beg to differ here. The boot of Ford Ikon was never smoothly integrated with the car. The waist-line of the car or the lower edge of the windows should continue till the rear end for a car to look good. Any car designer will confirm this. Ikon had a discontinuity or a step at the end of rear window & the boot line. So the windows looked at low height & the boot was higher. See the side profile & you will understand.

Anyways, it is discontinued now, so no point in talking about it. But technically, a good car though.

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What do you guys think? I do think that creating a sedan version of the Figo is a better choice. With the current Fiesta selling a 1000 units a year, it exactly isn't a bestseller. So it makes sense to introduce a sedan version with Figo-ish design. You can advertise a new product easily rather than a stripped down version of a another product. In that way, the resale value of the current car should be preserved by Ford.

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I think it was a very good car indeed. All it needed was a fuel efficient and powerful engine. Ford somehow fails to make their petrol engines efficient and balanced. The escort was a fuel guzzler and all the others followed the same tradition. Fiesta's engine was powerful and fun to drive but then could not match the efficiency of the city. Figo came with similar faults.

All I pray is that the new Fiesta turns out efficient and powerful as well. One good motor can change the entire story. Ford should have learned from Esteem. The ikon 1.6 was the best of the lot and came with good space and comfort. May be ford should use the chassis once again to manufacture another cheap sedan to compete against Dzire and the lot

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