Saturday, 21 September 2013

Ford EcoSport European Debut Delayed

The only Ford in India that shook the market like the Ikon is expected to stay away from Europe for a little bit longer. In March 2013, Ford declared that the EcoSport would be available across Europe by the end of the year. However, it seems the American car maker will be going with a very conservative approach at first. Ford plan to offer only 500 units in Q1-2014, 120 of which have been allocated to Britain. They will supply the small SUV in entirety, around Q2-2014. The EcoSport has worked wonders for Ford in the Indian market and seeing how European nations pose a good market for compact cars, Ford is hoping to see a similar response.

With great demand comes a great need for added productivity. Due to the overwhelming reaction the EcoSport received, Ford is working hard to keep up with the demand as its plant in Chennai has been struggling to lower waiting periods. In August, bookings for the car had been temporarily put on hold as the backlog had resulted in customers having to wait for as much as eight months with variant availability differing from dealership to dealership. Ford showrooms have since resumed regular bookings, but demand for the Renault Duster’s arch rival continues to be optimistic. This positive response could be the cause for the EcoSport’s delayed debut in Europe.

Both LHD and RHD EcoSports will be sourced from Ford’s plant in Chennai. Currently the car is manufactured in China, Brazil, Russia, and India, is expected to begin local production in Thailand before 2014. The EcoSport will most likely be offered with a 1.0-litre petrol Ecoboost, 1.5-litre diesel and petrol engines as well in the European Union. The 500 limited edition EcoSports that will be sold in the first quarter of 2014 could serve as a “beta testing” exercise for Ford, although with the response it has received thus far it might be safe to say Ford will be pleasantly un-surprised.  

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