By on December 23, 2012

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.

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13 Comments on “Ford Takes It Slow In India...”


  • avatar
    RobertRyan

    The Figo was a Ford Australia design. It has not been sold in Australia.

    • 0 avatar
      stephenjmcn

      It’s a 2002 Fiesta with very minor modifications.

      • 0 avatar
        ranwhenparked

        They made some changes to strip out content and lower production costs, as well as introducing more vibrant color options.

        Sort of like how the Dacia Logan is heavily based on the 2nd gen Renault Clio, but with changes to reduce costs and improve durability (although the Figo and Fiesta are clearly much more similar).

  • avatar
    Ron B.

    FIGO???!!!! I’ll bet they dont sell it in Italy with a name like that!! ha ha ha ha .

  • avatar

    Very interesting the battle between EcoSport and Duster. In Brazil, the success of the Duster surely made Ford speed up the second generation Eco, as the Duster was beating it by a large margin. Now, the new EcoSport is selling better than the Duster but we have to wait a few months after the novelty of the new Eco wear off.

    Interesting have been the reactions to the new Ford. I’d thought everybody would just go for it since it’s inequivocally more modern is design than the Renault. But, the Renault has the more jeep or SUV look going for it and has resisted quite well. My wife for one, who I believed would change her dream from Duster to Eco, took one look at the Ford and said, nah she preferred the Renault.

    To me the Renault beats the Eco in internal space and trunk. Always an important criteria. It also looks more rugged. Equipment and engine wise they are similar. Since the plainer looks of the Duster doesn’t bother me, and I think the interior is straightforward and ‘honest’, I know I’d take the Duster.

    Sincerely, the Eco is one of those few cars that look better in pics than in person. Too narrow and tall, some of the design elements look contrived or still rough. TO me, particularly unappealing is the junction of hood and windshield. Somethin went wrong there. Also the bottom of the bumpers and skirts look too plain and wrong. In all it’s agood idea but somehow looks a little undercooked as it were.

  • avatar
    TonyJZX

    the Figo looks wrong to me… like a jacked up Fiesta… it looks like a girls car

    I do like the looks of the Duster… there’s something attractive about its form follows function look

    I’m not a SUV person but I can see myself in a 4wd Duster if they can sort out a decent motor (ie. a turbo 1.6 four?).

    The Duster has successfully divorced itself from the Sandero or whatever it is its based on. The Figo has not.

  • avatar
    niky

    Truly a lost opportunity. It’s strange that Ford announced the EcoSport and still won’t sell them in India till next year, and in Asia till 2014 or 2015. That’s a looooong time to wait. They could hit a mid-cycle model change before launching it in some markets!

    Shame about the space, but the EcoSport really is limited by the source material. That Fiesta platform is just too tight.

  • avatar
    cargogh

    In profile that thing looks as nose heavy as a QX56.

  • avatar
    otaku

    FWIW I think those headlamps might not look terrible grafted onto the current Fiesta. The new Aston grill is a decent upgrade for the facelifted Fiesta, but the headlamps still take up way too much space on its nose.

  • avatar
    rmwill

    I am in Delhi right now, and Ford has a very limited presence. I see some Figos, a few Fiestas, but mostly high end Endeavors. I see about as many total Fords as Chevy cars. Chevy seems to have a popular SUV / people mover in the Tavera. The clear leaders here are Maruti Suzuki, Tata, and to a lesser extent Toyota and Hyundai. Hyundai seems to have the most new hardware on the road. I have seen exactly 3 BMWs, 1 Audi, 1 Land Rover, and 1 S Cass Benz. I have seen zero Nissan, and 1 Fiat.

    I hired a cab for the day to take my family to the Taj Mahal, about 500km round trip, in a Tata Indigo. It was less than $100, including driver, fuel, parking, tolls. At that price, it’s easy to be overpriced for a non Indian car maker.


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