Ford India, the well appreciated American auto maker, has been manufacturing its much awaited compact Sports Utility Vehicle (SUV), EcoSport, at its production line in Chennai. Also, the auto maker has started delivering the model to all of its authorised dealers all over the country. Expressing his views on the EcoSport, the President and Chief Executive Officer of Ford, Alan Mulally was quoted as saying, “The EcoSport looks fantastic. The Chennai team, together with our supplier partners, have done an outstanding job in delivering our customers a great looking, fuel efficient, safe, compact utility vehicle with impressive functionality and connectivity, at a very affordable price.”
Reportedly, the Chennai plant of Ford India happens to be its third production unit all over the world, wherein EcoSport is being produced. Industry experts are of a view that the launch of this model will completely stir the entry level compact Sports Utility Vehicle (SUV). The President of Ford Asia Pacific, Dave Schoch said, “The EcoSport is a great example of Ford’s leadership in the global shift to fuel efficient and functional utility vehicles. Utilities are helping drive our expansion throughout the region, particularly in emerging markets, where growth in the utility segments is exploding. Growth in Asia Pacific is the cornerstone of our global growth strategy, and having a strong base in India will help us to align production with demand and make the most of these market opportunities.”
As per a report published by IHS Automotive, the global demand for small utility vehicles expanded by 154 per cent between 2005 and 2012. Also, in the coming years, it is expected that the sales of compact utility vehicles will grow by 51 per cent worldwide. Sources close to the development process revealed that the EcoSport has been based on the company’s B-platform, on which the much appreciated Fiesta has also been designed. Reportedly, by the end of 2015, Ford India will be manufacturing two million cars on its B-platform annually.
It must be noted that Ford Motor invested $142 million to manufacture EcoSport at its Indian unit in Chennai. The investment to increase the production potential and enhance the production-line flexibility clearly indicates that the unit will be now capable of rolling out six types of car bodies on one line. Interestingly, ten variants of EcoSport will be produced in Chennai, which might also be exported to other auto markets.
Speaking on the launch of EcoSport in India, the President and Managing Director of Ford India, Joginder Singh said, “The excitement and anticipation around the EcoSport is unprecedented. We are extremely gratified with the response from Indian consumers for this vehicle. The dedicated men and women of Ford India are working very hard to exceed customer expectations, and our dealers have begun accepting EcoSport bookings.”