Ford India officials have been comparing the launch of the hotly anticipated 2013 EcoSport compact crossover with the best selling Figo hatchback time and again. These comparisons first kicked off in 2012, when the then Ford India President and MD, Michael Boneham, first compared the EcoSport with the Figo, going on to say that Ford India hopes to emulate the Figo’s success with the EcoSport. Now though, Mr Boneham has retired from Ford and his successor, Mr Joginder Singh, Ford India’s new President and Managing Director, is continuing the comparisons.
Here’s what Mr Joginder Singh had to say about the upcoming 2013 EcoSport,
With the launch of Ford EcoSport, a mini-SUV in the Indian market, we expect to change the dynamics of the market. If the industry witnessed fireworks with the introduction of Ford Figo, Ford EcoSport would be no less than a thunderbolt. We are offering the right product at the right time when the market is seeing more takers for SUVs. This is just the right time to take off.
So, with Ford India hoping that the EcoSport would actually build upon the success of the Figo with the car maker even hoping to change the rules of the game in the compact SUV segment, the expectations surrounding the EcoSport are only growing in the build up to the launch of this exciting new automobile. We’ve reported that localization levels of the EcoSport will be higher than the new Fiesta, a car that shares the B-Car platform with the compact SUV. Given that the Figo came with heavy localization and affordable costs of spares, the same could be the story of the EcoSport as well. With the Figo, Ford;s aggressive localization strategy meant that the spare parts costs of the Figo was actually lesser than that of market leader Maruti Swift.
Meanwhile, Ford India will kick start production from its under construction Sanand factory from 2014. The all new 2014 Figo is expected to be the first car to roll out of Sanand. Ford will employ no less than 5,000 employees at its Sanand factory. The new factory is expected to be instrumental in increasing Ford’s exports from India. Through the Sanand plant, Ford will leverage India’s advantage of high quality-low cost manufacturing. Gujarat’s well developed port infrastructure is said to be a major reason for Ford setting shop in that part of India.