Wednesday, January 25, 2012
Ford EcoSport will approximately gulp up USD 142 million at its Chennai plant in India as its manufacturing cost. The company's wholly owned arm, Ford India, will roll out the product in the market later this year. "We are investing USD 142 million in Chennai to produce that vehicle. It really is a tremendous show of confidence to the team in Chennai," Ford India President and Managing Director Michael Boneham told reporters.The company has not revealed the price range of this model, but it is expected to be in the price segment of Rs 7 to 9 lakh, where it will be competing with the Maruti Ertiga SUV.
Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Alan Mullaly, Ford Motor Company CEO, said on the occasion, "Majority of our growth now in terms of production facility and volumes will be focused on serving the Asia Pacific customers starting with India."
Powered by highly fuel efficient 1-litre Ecoboost petrol engine, the SUV is capable of delivering a peak power of 120 PS along with a peak torque of 170 NM. A 1.5 liter diesel version of the car will also be launched in Indian later. The choice of engines, a 1.5-litre diesel and 1.0-litre petrol, would have been ideal to benefit from the excise duty sop.
However recent reports suggest that Ford doesn’t want to compromise on the standards of space and styling it has already set. As a result, the car is expected to be closer to 4.25m in length, similar to the outgoing model. Therefore, the excise duty cut will have to be shelved off.
The company plans to offset the penalty of a higher excise duty with high levels of localisation. However, Ford is believed to be working on a sub-four-metre version by trimming precious millimetres off the bumpers, but it is very tight-lipped about this. We expect the EcoSport to start at Rs 7 lakh for the base petrol model and go up to Rs 10 lakh for the top-end diesel version. Ford EcoSport competes with Mahindra Scorpio, Mahindra XUV500 and Skoda Yeti in Indian market.