While Ford has launched quite a few vehicles globally in 2012, the American automaker hasn’t launched a single new product in India this year. After the success of the Figo (a hatchback developed especially for India and now being exported to emerging markets), Ford announced its plans to launch 8 new products by 2015 in the sub-continent. The company promptly launched the first product, the new Ford Fiesta. It performed quite badly due to the high pricing. At the Auto Expo earlier this year, Ford created a huge wave among prospective buyers by unveiling the second generation EcoSport.
Sadly, the EcoSport hasn’t been launched in India yet while the company has gone ahead and launched the compact SUV in various markets including Brazil and China. The EcoSport is set for a February 2013 launch, which is almost 14 months after it was first unveiled. Ford also showcased the EcoSport immediately after the Expo unveil in January 2012 in various cities, created a lot of hype, knowing well enough that the launch is still months away. Not the best strategy to wake up competitors. Seeing the positive reaction to the EcoSport, many car makers have started to work on their own compact SUV.
While all this happened, Renault was smart enough to launch the Duster in July, creating a near-monopoly for them. Sales of the Duster have been so good that Renault has hiked prices twice already. Last month, Renault sold more units of the Duster than Ford sold of the Figo (Ford’s highest selling vehicle in India). The Duster costs twice as much as the Figo, which shows the delay in the EcoSport has been a lost opportunity.
Faisal Ali Khan is the editor of MotorBeam.com, a website covering the automobile industry of India.