Ford India intends to give a real Indian
touch to vehicles it launches in the country. It has engaged a reputed Indian car designer
and auto stylist, Dilip Chhabria, to add personalised and customised features in its cars
for the Indian aficionado. To start with, Mr Chhabria will design a limited edition of
specially styled versions of the Ford Ikon, the car that is due for launch in November
1999. The Ikon itself is a special vehicle meant for India and designed at Ford''s small
vehicle centre in Germany. The limited edition is expected to be ready for the market by
Besides the limited edition, there will be
Chhabria-designed kits, dashboards, interiors, door pads, lights, grills and bumpers.
Customers opting for these special features can buy vehicles with exclusive and customised
Ford India seems to have decided to build
a long-term relationship with Mr Chhabria, and the company is setting up a full-fledged
design workshop, to implement his styling, adjacent to its Maraimalainagar plant near
Mr Chhabria is well suited to handle the
job. Although he has recently floated a new company for automotive designs, he has had
years of experience in the field. Vehicles restyled and redesigned by him are in demand,
and Chhabria-designed vehicles, can occasionally be seen on Indian roads. An engineer by
qualification, he is an old General Motors hand.
At the global level,
it is a practice with Ford Motors to have specialist designers to bring out customised
cars. The company uses Tickford in Australia and Cosworth in the UK for special,
customised design jobs. The company has earlier brought out limited edition versions of
its Orion, Alpha and the Freedom models.