Ford India hopes its upcoming compact SUV EcoSport can repeat the success of Figo in the export markets.

The American carmaker hit the sweet spot in India with the launch of its small car Figo. Today, Figo is exported from the Ford plant in Maraimalainagar, Chennai, to 37 countries including Africa, UAE, Nepal, and the Caribbean. Ford hopes the EcoSport, which is expected to be launched soon in India, can be a bigger blockbuster.

Besides these 37 markets, EcoSport is also expected to be exported to Europe from the Chennai plant, said Joginder Singh, Managing Director, Ford India.

The compact SUV category has been doing well in India, despite the challenges in the overall industry, said Singh. “We believe Ecosport, powered by EcoBoost technology, can offer greater power and fuel efficiency in just a 1-litre petrol engine.”

The EcoBoost engine comes with a three-cylinder petrol engine with turbo charger and direct injection and promises to match the performance of a 1.6-litre engine.

EcoSport has already been launched in Brazil and unveiled in China.

Ford’s upcoming plant in Sanand, Gujarat, will also be used as an export hub, said Singh. It is expected to be operational by next year. Both the Chennai and Sanand plants will have a combined manufacturing capacity of 4.40 lakh cars and 6.10 lakh engines a year. “About 25 per cent of cars and 40 per cent of engines will be exported.”

(This article was published on March 7, 2013)
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