ICB Exclusive: All you need to know about Ford India’s EcoSport crossover launch plans
Team ICB’s roving eye in the sky, EarthFusion, has been shadowing the Ford EcoSport(Internal Codename B515) project for quite a while now and if we may add, without much success. That said, EarthFusion has kept at it diligently and we’ve finally hit paydirt like we so often do. The first big development around the EcoSport is that Ford India will launch the EcoBoost turbo petrol engined model first. The 1.5 Liter TDCI engined EcoSport Diesel will be launched a couple of months down the line. Now, we’ll move on to the launch time frame Ford India has in mind for the EcoSport.
Kindly note that the following is a tentative schedule with some margin allowed for initial production hurdles. So, the exact timelines may vary slightly. However, the overall launch time frame will pretty much be conveyed through the following timeline we’ve scooped from deep within Maramalainagar, off Chennai the location of Ford’s Indian factory. Also, these timelines will give you, our esteemed reader an overview of the launch process, something that’s not been done before on the interweb.
* Ford India has half a dozen production prototype EcoSports up and ready. These crossovers will closely match the final model that car buyers will eventually be able to buy off showroom floors and marks an important landmark before the beginning of car production. Every car maker goes through this process of producing a limited number of production prototypes just before the actual start of full scale serial production. Ford, being a world class car maker has some highly developed processes.
* Ford India will ready up 5 EcoSports for photoshoots in the second week of March 2013. Typically, photoshoots of this kind commissioned by the automaker all set to launch its latest car/motorcycle happens a few weeks before the official launch. These photographs will eventually be released for PR/Press consumption.
* The first batch of EcoSports produced in India will be less than 200 in number. Of these, most of the first lot will feature red coloured EcoSport as the dominant color. It seems as though Ford India is betting big on the red colour EcoSport given the fact that brighter colours tend to attract the buyer towards what essentially is a hatchback sized crossover on tall wheels. This color selection also has to do with the fact that most of the initial lot of vehicles will head to Ford India dealer shelves. As a car buyer, you don’t want a understated grey EcoSport staring at you from a Ford showroom rather than a bright red EcoSport, do you?
* Every EcoSport in the first lot will be petrol powered with the 1 Liter-triple cylinder EcoBoost turbo petrol engine being the motor of choice.
* Just over half a dozen EcoSports from the initial lot will be earmarked as press cars. It is these cars that will be used for media drives. So, every review you read on the interweb, car magazines and newspapers will come from this initial batch.
* Now, to the biggie. Ford India has tentatively pegged the launch timeframe for the EcoSport in the second or third week of March 2013. This could be revised by a few days but the mid-March date is what Ford is aggressively pushing for.
* The first customer deliveries of the turbo petrol powered EcoSport is scheduled to happen in the fourth week of April. Initially, only the petrol powered EcoSport is expected to be made available with the diesel engined model to follow. EarthFusion notes that Ford India wants to ensure that the EcoSport is available with minimal waiting periods to ensure that the exciting new crossover manages to make a big dent on the best selling Renault Duster’s sales. For the record, the Duster comes with long waiting periods and Ford India seems all set to exploit this inefficiency.