Ford Motor, the company that pioneered mass manufacture of cars to shape the automobile industry in the 20th Century, on Wednesday premiered a global product in India as it unveiled its compact sport utility vehicle (SUV), the EcoSport, a day ahead of the New Delhi Auto Expo. The likely price is Rs7-8 lakh.
CEO Allan Mullaly said India and China will lead the global automobile market, which is expected to grow by 5 % in the next two years.
The EcoSport will be built at Ford’s Chennai plant, where the company will spend $ 142 million (R738 crore). The facility currently has the capacity to make 200,000 cars a year. The EcoSport will roll out of the Chennai plant, which has thus far been manufacturing Ford’s small car Figo and entry-level sedan Fiesta.
Created as the latest “One Ford” global product, the EcoSport will be a key model in expanding Ford’s presence in major growth markets, including India, Brazil and South East Asia. It has been developed in South America at one of Ford’s eight global product development centres in conjunction with teams from Asia, Europe and North America.
Ford clocked sales of a little less than 100,000 units in 2011, up 15% from the previous year in volume terms. The company hopes that sales in Asian countries would double by 2020 and would account for a third of its global sales.