Ford launches EcoSport at Rs 5.59 lakh, ex-Delhi
Ford India’s Chennai manufacturing facility is the third of five plants globally where the EcoSport will be produced. The SUV is currently made in Brazil and China with production expected to start at Rayong, Thailand and at Tatarstan, Russia.
Given the growing demand for compact SUVs in India, SIAM has said that SUVs are expected to record a growth of 9-11 percent in 2013-14, far more than the 3-5 percent forecast for passenger cars. Ford India hopes to ride this demand with the EcoSport.
The Chennai plant is also being positioned as a manufacturing and export hub for the EcoSport. Ten variants of the SUV will be manufactured in Chennai for sale in India and export to several markets. Both right-hand-drive and left-hand-drive EcoSports will be produced and the plan is to export them to nearly 40 countries including New Zealand, Australia, Taiwan and the Middle East. Ford has spent about $142 million (Rs 847 crore) to make the EcoSport at Chennai.
The EcoSport was first revealed at the January 2012 Auto Expo with Ford’s global head honcho, Alan Mulally at hand to do the honours. Mulally was in India a week before today’s launch to see the first vehicles roll out and to meet dealers.
The EcoBoost engine, which powers the EcoSport, has also been awarded the International Engine of the Year award in the sub-1.0-litre category. “The EcoSport is a great example of Ford’s leadership in the global shift to fuel-efficient and functional utility vehicles,” said Dave Schoch, president of Ford Asia Pacific, who was in India recently. “Utility vehicles are helping drive our expansion throughout the region, particularly in emerging markets, where growth in the utility segments is exploding.”
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