Ford fires fresh salvo at Honda, launches the up-market global Fiesta to take the City head on.This is the second launch in two months where City, Honda’s mainstay in India, has been directly targeted. Last month, Maruti launched the diesel SX4 in a bid to end City's decade-old dominance in the luxury mid-size car segment.
With no diesel offering, Honda is already finding it tough to hold on to its pole position. Volkswagen Vento and Maruti SX4 nudged ahead of it in sales in March pushing it to the third position for the first time ever. The pressure is relentless. Alongwith the new Fiesta, which will be launched in July, Hyundai is readying a refurbished Verna, the second-largest selling car in the segment in 2010, next month.
“The new Fiesta will be a segment-leading product in India with intuitive first-in-class smart features and fuel economy that raises the bar in every way,” said Michael Boneham, president and managing director, Ford India. “We believe we have a compelling proposition but will let the market decide on sales.”
Ford recently re-branded the existing Fiesta as classic positioning it in the lower end of the segment. The new Fiesta is expected to cost upwards of Rs 8 lakh. The dual positioning may just help Fiesta, which is one of the more sluggish brands in the segment.
In 2010, City was the overwhelming market leader with 49,030 units followed by a distant Hyundai Verna at 20,647 units and Sx4 at 18,800 units. Only 15,067 Fiestas were sold.