After Figo, Ford may launch more mass segment products

Our Bureau Mumbai | Updated on November 12, 2017 Published on July 14, 2011

Mr Michael Boneham (right), President and Managing Director, Ford India, and M.Nigel E. Wark, Executive Director, Marketing, Sales and Services, at the launch of new Ford Fiesta in Mumbai on Thursday. - Photo: Shashi Ashiwal   -  Business Line

Unveils new Ford Fiesta; to sell previous model as ‘Fiesta Classic'

Encouraged by the success of its first small car in India – the Figo, Ford has said that it will launch more compact hatchbacks targeted at the mass car segment.

These mass models are likely to be a part of the eight new vehicles the US-based carmaker aims to launch in the domestic market till 2015. The small car market represents over 70 per cent of total car sales and is witness to intense competition from over 20 models from around 11 car manufacturers.

“As we go along, we will see more products in the hatch segment, although I cannot specify what these will be. The base is huge in this segment, which justifies more products,” said Mr Michael Boneham, President & MD, Ford India.

The first model of Ford's new range, the new Ford Fiesta, was launched here on Thursday at a price of Rs 8.31-9.51 lakh (petrol) and Rs 9.36-10.52 lakh (diesel). The Fiesta mid-size sedan will be available in four trim variants and a choice of seven colours.

It is powered by 1.5 litre petrol and diesel engines and is manufactured at the company's two lakh per annum capacity plant in Chennai. The new Fiesta features Bluetooth Voice Control for audio system, cruise control, apart from anti-lock braking system and front airbags as a standard feature. Ford claims fuel efficiency of 17 km/l (petrol) and 23.5 km/l (diesel).

Mr Boneham said that the company has already received a few pre-orders for the Fiesta.

Incidentally, Ford has stopped production of its entry sedan – the Ikon – but is also selling the previous generation Fiesta as the ‘Fiesta Classic'. The starting price for the older Fiesta has been positioned lower than the new model by around Rs 3 lakh at Rs 5.49 lakh. The diesel version of the Fiesta Classic starts at Rs 6.48 lakh.

Diesel engines

Ford, which is facing a constraint in the production of diesel engines because of an unprecedented rise in the sale of diesel models, plans to ramp production capacity of such engines. This high demand for diesel cars has also created a small dent in the monthly sales of the Figo. The popularity of diesel models is because the price of the fuel versus petrol has significantly widened over the last few months to over Rs 20.

“There is a constraint in diesel engine production, especially because our suppliers have not been able to increase their capacities as fast. We're ramping up diesel capacity, but it takes time. Once this is done, we will see Figo sales rise again,” said Mr Nigel Wark, Executive Director, Marketing, Sales & Services, Ford India.

Published on July 14, 2011
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