The hotly anticipated Ford EcoSport compact crossover is on display during weekends in many malls across the country. The crossover’s official launch seems to be a while away though. Team ICB’s conversation with Ford India’s Mr Sriram Padmanabhan, at the sidelines of the EcoSport’s Mumbai unveil resulted in the confirmation that the crossover would be launched in India only after the EcoSport Discoveries contest concludes. The EcoSport Discoveries Drive will begin sometime in May and go on for three weeks. So, a June 2013 launch for the EcoSport seems highly likely.
This information has been further bolstered by Mr Hormazd Sorabjee, the Editor of AutocarIndia, who, citing Ford dealers, tweeted that the crossover would be launched in June 2013. Given that it is over a year since the EcoSport was first showcased at the 2012 Indian Auto Exp0, Ford India’s move to display the EcoSport at malls across the country is a good idea as car buyers will atleast get to have a look and feel of what this crossover is all about. The EcoSport Discoveries contest seems like a ploy to keep car buyer interest alive even as many prospective EcoSport buyers are threatening to shift to other brands due to the long wait for the crossover’s launch.
Built on the Ford B-Car platform under the One Ford philosophy, the EcoSport shares its underpinnings with the new Fiesta hatchback and sedan. A high amount of localization is what the made-in-India EcoSport is expected to come with. Apart from focusing on the Indian car market. Ford India’s factory at Maramalainagar, off Chennai, is expected to also double up as an export hub for the EcoSport. The United Kingdom is one such export market that’ll see the EcoSport’s launch by the end of this year. The EcoSport sold in India will be available in both petrol and diesel engine options.
Ford India has announced that the EcoSport sold in India will be front wheel driven and that it will be offered with manual and automatic gearbox options. With rumours suggesting a starting price of just under 6 lakh rupees for the EcoSport, the crossover could be aimed at attracting B+ segment hatchback buyers to the Ford fold, a move akin to the one effected by Mahindra with the XUV500. The XUV500’s sharp pricing meant that many C+Segment sedan buyers jumped ship from sedans and bought the crossover. A similar story could pan out with the EcoSport if Ford manages to price the crossover competitively.