Fusion diesel version to follow in third quarter to bolster numbers further.
The 15,000-strong premium SUV segment is growing at 16 percent a year. First launched in 2003, the Endeavour has sold 7,000 units and commands a 38 percent market share in its segment. Unwilling to give specific sales projections, vice president (marketing, sales and service), Ford India, Scott McCormack says the company expects to improve upon this performance with the new Endeavour.
This vehicle is already available in Thailand (as the Everest) from where the powertrain and other parts are sourced. “We import most of the components in a pack from our plant in Thailand. We have localised about 30 percent and these include tyres, glass and some interior components and so on,” McCormack says.
The new Endeavour sports Ford’s 2.5 litre Duratorq TDCi engine, which offers 28 percent more power and 22 percent torque over the previous model. It will be assembled at the Chennai plant, which can be scaled up to roll out 100,000 vehicles with some minor investments. Presently, the plant has an annual capacity of 60,000 vehicles.
McCormack calls the new SUV both “evolutionary and revolutionary” since it has over 75 percent changes over the previous model. Moving on, 2007 is also a year of consolidation for Ford in India. The automaker has introduced refreshed products and plans to expand its market reach as well. Ford has a 22 percent market share in the mid-size passenger car segment with the Ikon, Fiesta and Fusion models.
The Fiesta is Ford’s best selling model in India and accounts for 70 percent of total sales, of which the diesel version makes up 75 percent. McCormack also dismissed market speculation that the company was phasing out the Ikon, which is its second best selling model. Ford will be launching the diesel version of its Fusion model in the third quarter as well. It would sport the 1.4 TDCi currently used on the Fiesta.
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