Is the ambiguity surrounding the 2013 Ford EcoSport’s India launch playing into the hands of the Renault Duster SUV?
The Ford EcoSport compact crossover was first showcased in concept form exactly a year ago, at the 2012 Indian Auto Expo. Ford India even showed off the hot new crossover in shopping malls and most folks who saw the EcoSport did have many things to say about the compact crossover. Even as the Ford pavilion at the Auto Expo proudly showcased the EcoSport, elsewhere in Pragati Maidan French car maker Renault was attracting its own share of eyeballs with the Duster SUV. 8 months later, Renault India launched the Duster SUV, which has gone on to become the best selling SUV in the country.
Ford India, on the other hand, is yet to even announce a definite time frame for the EcoSport, leave alone launch the hotly anticipated compact crossover. To be fair to Ford India, an early 2013 launch is what the company has been maintaining all along. However, the ambiguity surrounding the “early 2013″ term has only led to confusion, what with conflicting information emerging from various sources. Meanwhile, the long wait seems to be driving away potential EcoSport buyers towards the Duster SUV. In fact, many of our stories based around the launch plans of the EcoSport has seen readers coming out and commenting about how the wait for the EcoSport is getting a little too long, and how they’re planning to settle on the Duster.
So, Ford India, please come out and make an announcement on when the EcoSport will be launched in India. While the never ending flurry of spyshots and various sightings of the EcoSport down south has whetted the appetite of the eager Indian car buyer, we think its time for Ford India to let the cat out of the bag so that buyers have certainty upon which they can base their buying decision. Shifting focus to Brazil, the EcoSport has just displaced the Duster from its perch in that country, by outselling the Renault SUV in the month of December 2012. In Brazil, the EcoSport has managed to upset the Duster’s apple cart despite being priced higher.
In India, the EcoSport is expected to be priced lower due to its sub-4 meter length and the associated duty benefits. Both petrol and diesel variants of the EcoSport will be launched in India. Ford is all set to begin manufacturing the EcoSport at its Maramalainagar plant, off Chennai in the next couple of months. The brand new production line for the EcoSport is expected to be inaugurated by the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, Ms J.Jayalalithaa, in March this year. Trial production is expected commence soon after. Apart from selling the EcoSport in India, Ford also has plans of exporting the made-in-India crossover to countries across the world.