Ford has recalled around 1000 vehicles of the much fan fared Ford Ecosport within two weeks of its launch. After the ad fiasco, an incident which didn’t even subside fully, this recall after the launch might hit the company and reflect on their balance sheets.
Ford Ad Fiasco
Earlier this year, a series of controversial advertisements made by the WPP subsidiary JWT India for Ford Motor shook up the Ford country unit. The ads, which featured cartoons of women bound and gagged in the trunk of a Ford Figo, prompted the resignation of industry veterans and the entire creative team at JWT India
The advertisements in question were never used for a Ford campaign, but were uploaded by JWT employees on Ads of the World, an international advertising Web site which gives awards for ads submitted by users. They have since been removed from the Web site. Soon after posting, they spread quickly through social media and attracted criticism for their sexist message, particularly as India grapples with numerous high-profile incidents of violence against women.
Ford Ecosport Recall
Not much after the ad fiasco, Ford has now recalled the diesel variant of the Ecosport. Ford has cited concern regarding the current positioning of a Glow Plug module, which is used for regulating the functioning of a glow plug. (A Glow Plug is a heating device used to aid in the starting of a diesel engine. It is an external component fitted to a diesel engine to warm the engine’s combustion chamber so that the fuel burns efficiently).
The Glow Plug module is located near the front bumper of the compact SUV. The module will now be remounted in a more protected area within the engine bay to avoid the component from catching moisture.
The After Effects
Though the ad fiasco may only reflect only on their ‘Goodwill’ in the books but the Ford Ecosport recall may very well reflect on the Sales numbers.
The recall issues as stated by the company is ‘small’ and might not be enough to fire someone as in the case of JWT but the after effects of recall might be much more severe.
As the fan fared launch made it to the headlines amongst all leading publications, the recall will too be denting all sweet spots of PR. Ford will definitely try to present it with as much euphemism as possible but the bottom line is that recalls stay in the mind of consumers for long and might stay there while zeroing down their purchase decision. So this time, its is not only about ‘Goodwill’ but it’s also about the ‘Sales’ numbers.
For Ford, the EcoSport is billed as the comeback vehicle to build its presence in the Indian market. The development is expected to be a setback for the US car maker, which has bet on the vehicle. This is the second major recall from Ford India. It recalled 1.28 lakh units of Figo small car and Classic sedan in August of 2012 on a steering and rear suspension issue.