By on November 14, 2013

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The importance of South America to Ford Motor Company’s plans can be seen from the fact that chairman Bill Ford went to Brazil to introduce the Ka Concept, an entry level hatchback for urban consumers in Brazil and other global markets, particularly developing countries. FoMoCo says that the car was developed by Ford Brazil. Of course, the Ka Concept is a concept car in name only and when the production Ka arrives next year it should be very close to what was revealed this week. It’s also very similar to the small sedan whose spy shots TTAC featured recently that our sources tell us will be the Ka sedan.

Speaking at a ceremony at Ford’s Northeast Industrial Complex in Camaçari, Bill Ford said, “Ford has a long history in Brazil, bringing development, jobs and growth to the region. As an integral part of our global growth strategy, we are committed to bringing world-class products to Brazil and to helping the region create global vehicles for the rest of the world.”

Ford expects global demand for sub-B segment vehicles to grow to 6.2 million units by 2017, an increase of 35%, outpacing the expected overall industry growth rate by 12 percent.

Ford-Ka-Figo-01

“The Ford Ka Concept is aimed at customers in growth markets who want and expect more,” said Joe Hinrichs, president of The Americas for Ford Motor Company, who joined Bill Ford on the trip to South America that will include the centennial celebration of Ford’s operations in Argentina. “It will delight consumers with its sleek design, clever technology, attention-to-detail quality and superb craftsmanship. It also shows the continued importance of our South American design and engineering capabilities to serve markets around the world. It’s truly another global design and engineering milestone for Ford.”

Ford-Ka-Figo-02

The new Ka, according to Ford, will have best in class interior design with electronic features and craftmanship not normally found on “attainable”  cars. The automaker says that the Ka also will have best in class air conditioning, an important feature for emerging markets since many of them have relatively warm climates. South America and South Asia are expected to make up 44% of the global sub-B compact vehicle segment by 2017.

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21 Comments on “Ford Ka Concept Developed & Debuted in Brazil, Will Likely Start Production Next Year...”


  • avatar

    The name of the place is Camaari, in Bahia state.

    Looks good to me. I only worry that Ford is heaving all those compliments on it. Could be an excuse to market it above where it should really go. In other words, Ford has always been a little greedy in their pricing here and most people don’t fall for it. Couple that with the perception that maintenance on a Ford is more expensive and complicated than in similar cars from VW, Fiat or GM and this could be a pretty little car, that many will admire but relatively few buy.

    I’m sure Ford is aware of it, but the fact is they’re coming from behind. While Fiat, VW and GM all hold around 20% of market share, Ford can barely get 10%. This car could be a way for them to grow and get more market share, and remain number 4, if they’re careful on pricing. At the moment it’s looks more possible that Renault or Hyundai will sneak up on them and overcome them, than Ford getting closer to the big 3.

    • 0 avatar
      Athos Nobile

      It doesn’t need to be cheap. It needs to be priced competitively and it will sell.

      Looks hip. If the interior can really match their hype I reckon it will sell.

      • 0 avatar

        I don’t know Athos. Ford has a mountain to climb. The maintenance thing. You pointed that out to me some years ago. I agree totally with your insight. The go to cars here are Fiat Uno or Palio, VW Gol and GM Celta. The Ka or Fiesta were wrongly or rightly seen as more expensive to maintain. Probably more margin for Ford, but the scale of sales compensates. Price it like the old Fiesta and I think you’re looking at 10k a month tops. Price it like an Uno, and cheaper than Gol, 20k to 25k is doable. I don’t know what’s the limit at Camaari though. So Bernardo do Campo now makes only the Fiesta, as the old Ka and Courier are being phased out. At Camaari they’re going to build EcoSport and Ka. The Ka sedan is a given too. What to watch is the old Fiesta Rocam. I’m thinking that as production goes up, there’ll be just the new Ka, new Fiesta. Ford also needs a Strada-like pickup, but so far no news on that.

        • 0 avatar
          CoreyDL

          Why though, are they seen as difficult and higher maintenance? They’re equivalent to a GM, and certainly (in the US at least) much easier than a VW product!

          • 0 avatar

            vw and Fiat are smarter. They have the reputation that if your needle breaks on your speedometer, you can get that needle. Ford doesn’t due that and you’d have to get the whole gage or even the whole cluster to get it fixed. GM’s reputation lies somewhere between VW’s and Fiat’s on the one hand and Ford on the other. Now this is more often than not reputation, but aw we well know, perception is all there is.

  • avatar
    Magnusmaster

    The rear looks a bit too awkward coming from Ford, but the car looks good. IF this new Ka has significantly improved safety standars compared to its predecessor (which had Chinese car safety standards), and they price it right it’s going to obliverate the competition.

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      The rear looks just like a Vitz/Yaris to me.

      http://www.rodapapat.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/2010-Toyota-Yaris-Rear-View-588×441-e1308004099498.jpg

      I mean really. There’s almost no difference.

  • avatar
    philadlj

    Hmm…Aston in front, Hyundai Accent hatchback everywhere else.

    It almost works. It’s certainly not repellent.

    • 0 avatar
      Vipul Singh

      Wait till you see the car in side profile. The front overhang and disproportionately high nose are ‘ugh!’

      It is remarkable how this remains disguised in the above photos.

      There is speculation that this car may be launched in India as well.

      • 0 avatar

        Hey Vipul, I’ve seen pictures and it doesn’t look that bad to me. I venture to say that that is because Ford could try to sell this car in places where Euro pedestrian protection atandards are enforced. Though the article said the car was developed in Brazil, extensive fine tuning was done by Ford Germany. Could it be that Ford would try this car in Western Europe? Traditionally there has always been a market for cars smaller than a Fiesta in Europe. Maybe this will be an entry level car there. The Ka has a solid name there afterall.

  • avatar
    Wscott97

    They put the fusion grill an a stripped down 2007 Saturn Astra body and calling it something new. The Yaris has more design than that. Couldn’t they have designed the rear and sides to match the front. I think if ford put the fusion grill on the Saturn Astra 2dr body, it would have looked much better.

  • avatar
    Kyree S. Williams

    This looks quite like the camouflaged car that TTAC featured in an article last week. I’m not sure how appropriate it is for the intended market, but the styling is quite nice.

    • 0 avatar
      tresmonos

      It’s the 5 dr version of it. I wonder how many Public Relations employees at Ford were squirming about that spy shot? Probably very few, but here’s to hoping.

  • avatar
    Spike_in_Brisbane

    I am amazed that you think it is important that Bill Ford actually goes somewhere. Are you that U.S, centric or are airfares to Brazil that expensive? I imagine Bill has his own jet and crew who are paid regardless.

  • avatar
    daniel g.

    ok another clone look like VW gol? chevrolet onix / toyota etios and the list maybe can continue…kia picanto in the back maybe?
    please ford try your own destiny, the first ka was shocking in a good way, the time improve that design, the car feel solid but the last model feel like a rustic car.

  • avatar
    motormouth

    I was in Sao Paulo to cover the launch of the first (and previous) Brazilian iteration of the Ka, which was based on the original platform (rather than the Fiat ‘Mini’ architecture). I’m guessing this is the same, a new tophat hiding a knackered, mid-90s subframe, with all the inherent weaknesses. If I’m correct in this assumption, it’s pretty cynical how major OEMs ignore advances in materials and related safety that have happened over the past 20 years. With an old-for-new model combined with Ford’s premium pricing strategy, they’re laughing all the way to the bank.

    • 0 avatar

      Not this time. Ford has decided to put some money in here. The Ka will sit on the same platform as the new Fiesta, and not on the old Fiesta’s/Ka’s platform. That one is being laid to rest. ALso, the engines are all new being that they’re all from the EcoBoost family without the fancy add ons (no turbo, no vvt).

      • 0 avatar
        motormouth

        Thanks for the info, Marcelo, I’m glad that Ford has decided to open its wallet a little further and go for a true update. I understand that time is about to be called on the ancient Fiat Uno as well, which is good news for every new car buyer in Brazil that gives half a toss about vehicle integrity.

  • avatar
    daniel g.

    Hi marcelo, check this photos: http://www.mundoautomotor.com.ar/web/2013/07/03/toyota-etios-preventa-exclusiva-de-1000-unidades-a-un-precio-de-89-200-pesos/

    the other model with the trunk look diferent

    http://todosobremaquinas.blogspot.com.ar/2011/01/kia-picanto.html

    ok the lights are diferent but the horizontal line in the 5th door is the first idea to come with me.

    my original idea of the post: ford make the same path of the other, try to make their own version of gol, more o less is the market they want.

    they invent and make ecosport (in reality kia sportage came first http://laplata.olx.com.ar/kia-sportage-4×4-diesel-97-iid-536883133)something diferent, and the market likes (in brasil the big factorie is more o less for this models)
    they import the new ecosport to other markets (india for example) and is a success.

    just ford try a little hard.


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