Go Back   Team-BHP > BHP India > The Indian Car Scene


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 25th May 2015, 10:17   #1
Distinguished - BHPian
 
RavenAvi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Flying Around
Posts: 4,341
Thanked: 18,460 Times
Default Ford's B500 Project - Honda City rival coming in 2018. EDIT: Plans shelved

Name:  47411097.cms.jpg
Views: 5787
Size:  27.4 KB

The Ford Motor Company will be investing 4,000-5,000 crores in an Indian R&D Center located in Chennai to increase the product development capability in the country. It will be one of the largest R&D Centers in the Asia-Pacific region and will contribute not only to Ford India's domestic marketing strategies, but will give inputs to it's global affairs as well.

The official announcement regarding this all-new Ford R&D Center will be done in the second half of this year (after the MoU is signed with the TN government), and the development of a new B500 project from this Center will spawn a new midsize-segment sedan which will go up against the Honda City sometime in 2018. The Center will be playing an important role in this car's design, development and engineering.

This project may also spawn an MPV in the future.

With this fresh investment, coming after the promise of a billion dollars in a second plant in Sanand, Gujarat, Ford India's investment share in India will be almost 50% of it's total investment so far.

Quote:
This development comes ten months after its global CEO Mark Fields promised Prime Minister Narendra Modi that he will do his bit for the government's Make in India campaign. In an exclusive interview with ET recently, Fields had expressed interest in increasing the product development capability in the country. "There's a tremendous engineering talent here, and we want to tap into that and grow our product development capability here methodically over a period of time," Fields had said.

Experts said the local product development will drive localisation further and help the company reduce cost by cutting down on imports. With a huge talent pool of skilled engineering workforce, India can become an important development hub for Ford India.

Last edited by RavenAvi : 25th May 2015 at 10:18.
RavenAvi is offline   (7) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 25th May 2015, 11:31   #2
Senior - BHPian
 
arunphilip's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 1,603
Thanked: 3,954 Times
Default re: Ford's B500 Project - Honda City rival coming in 2018. EDIT: Plans shelved

Interesting. A competitor to the Honda City would imply that Ford are giving up on trying to sell the international Fiesta here, and instead replace the Fiesta with the B500. Ever since it was refreshed in 2011, the Fiesta never really took off.

The shame is, there is a strong likelihood that the B500 will be a car that panders to mass-market tastes and might end up with a diluted driver-oriented mojo.
arunphilip is online now   (7) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 25th May 2015, 11:35   #3
BHPian
 
Vigkey's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 620
Thanked: 1,002 Times
Default re: Ford's B500 Project - Honda City rival coming in 2018. EDIT: Plans shelved

Well RavenAvi, I always believed Fiesta was the Honda City competitor from the Ford stable. The pricing (at least the initial one) indicates the same.

Does this mean that B500 will replace Fiesta or will both co-exist?? Any clues on that?? Or will Fiesta become the next Classic with features ripped off and price cut down and B500 will be Ford's premium sedan??
Vigkey is offline   (2) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 25th May 2015, 11:39   #4
Senior - BHPian
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: NH209
Posts: 1,605
Thanked: 682 Times
Default re: Ford's B500 Project - Honda City rival coming in 2018. EDIT: Plans shelved

Quote:
Originally Posted by arunphilip View Post
The shame is, there is a strong likelihood that the B500 will be a car that panders to mass-market tastes and might end up with a diluted driver-oriented mojo.
Yes, the 'dilution' was felt in the steering of the Ecosport, with Ford shifting away from their European base.

Am waiting for the test drive of the Ka(r) sedan-The Figo Aspire, before commenting about 'diluted driver-oriented mojo'

Last edited by GTO : 25th May 2015 at 13:42. Reason: Typo
ramzsys is offline   (2) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 25th May 2015, 11:58   #5
Distinguished - BHPian
 
karan561's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Mumbai
Posts: 3,445
Thanked: 7,449 Times
Default re: Ford's B500 Project - Honda City rival coming in 2018. EDIT: Plans shelved

Im surprised they chose the codename B500.

Coz IIRC Ford B500 series were its Buses

Name:  T2eC16dHJGYFFlOUQfcBSMdUsowQ60_35.JPG
Views: 5055
Size:  21.7 KB

B500 Chassis specs;

Ford's B500 Project - Honda City rival coming in 2018. EDIT: Plans shelved-56fordbus7.jpg

Source: Google

Last edited by karan561 : 25th May 2015 at 12:00.
karan561 is offline   (11) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 25th May 2015, 12:14   #6
BANNED
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: mumbai
Posts: 1,893
Thanked: 1,780 Times
Default re: Ford's B500 Project - Honda City rival coming in 2018. EDIT: Plans shelved

Fiesta IMO was always a size smaller than the City, especially the new one, width wise was quite narrow. Even the earlier Fiesta was almost a Indigo/Dezire sized sedan, derived from its hatchback version. The city on the other hand looked and felt bigger. May be the new B500 project aims to correct the dimensions.
apachelongbow is offline   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 25th May 2015, 12:39   #7
BHPian
 
Bhodrolok's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 131
Thanked: 96 Times
Default re: Ford's B500 Project - Honda City rival coming in 2018. EDIT: Plans shelved

This is disappointing, another global car fails to grab any traction in our market and it's going to be replaced by a India-only model. Sadly this seems to be the only way manufacturers can get numbers of any significance, sadly the driving enthusiast is losing out due to diluted driving dynamics and is getting saddled with boat loads of chrome!
Bhodrolok is offline   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 25th May 2015, 12:51   #8
Distinguished - BHPian
 
RavenAvi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Flying Around
Posts: 4,341
Thanked: 18,460 Times
Default re: Ford's B500 Project - Honda City rival coming in 2018. EDIT: Plans shelved

Quote:
Originally Posted by arunphilip View Post
The shame is, there is a strong likelihood that the B500 will be a car that panders to mass-market tastes and might end up with a diluted driver-oriented mojo.
Definitely. The EcoSport is a strong example of how Ford India has changed it's marketing strategy, for India-specific tastes.

After Honda, I am guessing that Ford will be next to announce that they are taking their company "mainstream" in India. The Ford DNA will be in line with mass market preferences from now on, IMO.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vigkey View Post
Does this mean that B500 will replace Fiesta or will both co-exist?? Any clues on that?? Or will Fiesta become the next Classic with features ripped off and price cut down and B500 will be Ford's premium sedan??
After the response by the Indian market to the facelifted Fiesta, I won't be surprised if they take it out of their Indian equation. An India-specific car developed from scratch might be more feasible for their long-term plans and profits. It will help them price it competitively as well.

Not like the facelifted Fiesta wasn't - it was the cheapest C2-segment diesel sedan on offering until the Maruti-Suzuki Ciaz came in.

Quote:
Originally Posted by karan561 View Post
Im surprised they chose the codename B500.

Coz IIRC Ford B500 series were its Buses
Interesting. Does this mean that any/all cars developed under Project B500 will be equally spacious? If they are pitting the sedan against the City, it better be.

Quote:
Originally Posted by apachelongbow View Post
Fiesta IMO was always a size smaller than the City, especially the new one, width wise was quite narrow. Even the earlier Fiesta was almost a Indigo/Dezire sized sedan, derived from its hatchback version. The city on the other hand looked and felt bigger. May be the new B500 project aims to correct the dimensions.
Don't forget that the Fiesta sedan is actually based on the Fiesta hatchback available internationally. With all the feedback (and brickbats) Ford received after the Fiesta launch, they might have gone back to their planning board and decided on this.

Only worrying thing I am thinking - hope they don't compromise on the build quality, handling and driving dynamics of the car, something enthusiasts have come to associate strongly with the Ford brand. If that indeed happens, the future offerings won't be Fords anymore. Just mass-market, India-specific offerings.
RavenAvi is offline   (3) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 25th May 2015, 13:32   #9
BHPian
 
jayded's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: TVM, HYD
Posts: 510
Thanked: 302 Times
Default re: Ford's B500 Project - Honda City rival coming in 2018. EDIT: Plans shelved

Not really sure why they need to build an all new product when they have competent products in their portfolio which they have not bothered to launch in India.

Ford, please bring the Fiesta hatch at around ~8-9 lakhs and the Focus at ~10-11 Lakhs.
And for the D segment, please get in the Fusion. Its a versatile car with a truckload of engine options and is quite the looker.
jayded is offline   (5) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 25th May 2015, 13:46   #10
BHPian
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Chennai
Posts: 608
Thanked: 341 Times
Default re: Ford's B500 Project - Honda City rival coming in 2018. EDIT: Plans shelved

Amidst the disappointment about step-motherly treatment of the Fiesta, I think we are missing some significant news - Investment on 4000-5000 crores, that too in an R&D facility is pretty big news. Along with the new factory going live in Gujarat, shows that Ford is pretty serious about India for the long run.
chncar is offline   (2) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 25th May 2015, 13:48   #11
Senior - BHPian
 
anachronix's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Madras
Posts: 3,199
Thanked: 1,147 Times
Default re: Ford's B500 Project - Honda City rival coming in 2018. EDIT: Plans shelved

Making India as an important development hub for Ford Global, that's great news. But the rest of it doesn't make any sense at all!

So Ford in India thinks it does not have a car that could rival the Honda City?
- The Fiesta is such a brilliant car, they only need to make more effort than uploading pictures on Facebook once in morning and once in evening in an attempt to sell this car.

And this R&D center is going to develop one to rival the City and also design an MPV!?
- They have the brilliant handling MPVs, the Galaxy & the S-Max. The Ford Transit is another vehicle that could be sold in the commercial segment. Why are they turning a blind eye to such good global products and trying to recreate what Honda is doing with the Brio platform!
anachronix is offline   (3) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 25th May 2015, 13:51   #12
GTO
Team-BHP Support
 
GTO's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Bombay
Posts: 44,573
Thanked: 68,218 Times
Default re: Ford's B500 Project - Honda City rival coming in 2018. EDIT: Plans shelved

I'm going to take this news with a pinch of salt.

This goes against the 'One Ford' strategy put in place by Alan Mulally. Plus, Ford India has never fully developed a car. Even with a full-fledged R&D center in place, they simply don't have the experience or expertise.

At the most, I expect some 'Indianisation' of a global product.

If you ask me, there was nothing terminally wrong with the Fiesta in terms of product. The rear seat space could easily be increased via a wheelbase stretch (like how the Indian Grand i10 has 100 mm more wheelbase length). The poor part quality was a matter of wrong purchasing / cost targets. What really killed the Fiesta was that it was over-priced at launch.

Quote:
Originally Posted by apachelongbow View Post
Fiesta IMO was always a size smaller than the City, especially the new one, width wise was quite narrow. Even the earlier Fiesta was almost a Indigo/Dezire sized sedan, derived from its hatchback version. The city on the other hand looked and felt bigger. May be the new B500 project aims to correct the dimensions.
Well, if size is what Ford India wants, it does have bigger sedans in its international line-up.

Plus, the current generation Fiesta is in the evening of its life (7 years up). The next generation will most definitely be a bit bigger.
GTO is offline   (9) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 25th May 2015, 14:01   #13
Senior - BHPian
 
lamborghini's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Mumbai
Posts: 4,376
Thanked: 833 Times
Default re: Ford's B500 Project - Honda City rival coming in 2018. EDIT: Plans shelved

Quote:
Originally Posted by arunphilip View Post
Interesting. A competitor to the Honda City would imply that Ford are giving up on trying to sell the international Fiesta here, and instead replace the Fiesta with the B500. Ever since it was refreshed in 2011, the Fiesta never really took off.

The shame is, there is a strong likelihood that the B500 will be a car that panders to mass-market tastes and might end up with a diluted driver-oriented mojo.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vigkey View Post
Well RavenAvi, I always believed Fiesta was the Honda City competitor from the Ford stable. The pricing (at least the initial one) indicates the same.

Does this mean that B500 will replace Fiesta or will both co-exist?? Any clues on that?? Or will Fiesta become the next Classic with features ripped off and price cut down and B500 will be Ford's premium sedan??
Quote:
Originally Posted by ramzsys View Post
Yes, the 'dilution' was felt in the steering of the Ecosport, with Ford shifting away from their European base.

Am waiting for the test drive of the Ka(r) sedan-The Figo Aspire, before commenting about 'diluted driver-oriented mojo'
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bhodrolok View Post
This is disappointing, another global car fails to grab any traction in our market and it's going to be replaced by a India-only model. Sadly this seems to be the only way manufacturers can get numbers of any significance, sadly the driving enthusiast is losing out due to diluted driving dynamics and is getting saddled with boat loads of chrome!
Guys!
First off - this B500 sedan is coming in 2018, by when the current Fiesta would be outdated and due for replacement either ways. Keeping in mind Ford's global strategy of 'One Ford', a specific India only model goes against this so is highly doubtful. What it could mean is that the B500 is the international Fiesta replacement that will be tweaked for India.

And before everyone jumps on the tweaked for India - remember the Fiesta sedan that was designed for India and was one of the best driver's cars of its time?
Similarly, the EcoSport is still a fantastic driver's vehicle compared to its competitors. Yes the light steering is the only fly in the ointment, but the dynamics and ride/handling balance is definitely on the stronger side.

If you ask me, what this article really means is that Ford is going to use the cheaper labour and our engineering expertise to help reduce their costs globally. Similar to the Ecosport exports saga where Indian made ecosports were exported.
lamborghini is offline   (6) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 25th May 2015, 15:05   #14
Senior - BHPian
 
kiku007's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Brisbane
Posts: 1,545
Thanked: 1,004 Times
Default

Does this have anything to do with the shutting down of plants in Australia? Quite a bit of product development is done in Australia. Makes sense if some work is moved from there but I fail to understand why they want to develop brand new cars for India. The Focus, Fusion/Mondeo, C-Max, S-Max, Kuga, Edge are all there. Local customization (LHD To RHD for the Edge) is what is required.
kiku007 is offline   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 25th May 2015, 17:55   #15
Senior - BHPian
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: NH209
Posts: 1,605
Thanked: 682 Times
Default re: Ford's B500 Project - Honda City rival coming in 2018. EDIT: Plans shelved

Ford better give performance oriented diesel engine for it's future models. It's not as if FE is the USP of ford cars sold here. Ford car owners are a frustrated lot with the power offered and the thrashing that the 'fuel efficient' diesel engines receives results in abysmal FE figures from the wheezy engines, defeating the whole purpose.


PS: A duster overtook me today and however hard i tried, i couldn't even keep up with it's tail in my Ecosport D.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kiku007 View Post
Makes sense if some work is moved from there but I fail to understand why they want to develop brand new cars for India. The Focus, Fusion/Mondeo, C-Max, S-Max, Kuga, Edge are all there. Local customization (LHD To RHD for the Edge) is what is required.
One Ford strategy for the next generation of Ford vehicles? Which means we won't be getting any of those cars here.

Last edited by ramzsys : 25th May 2015 at 17:57.
ramzsys is offline   (2) Thanks Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Next-gen Skoda Yeti: Coming in 2018 volkman10 The International Automotive Scene 30 17th December 2016 14:16
Audi to rival Tesla Model X - Electric SUV coming in 2018 volkman10 The International Automotive Scene 5 31st August 2016 14:50
VW to develop EcoSport/Duster Rival - The Taigun. EDIT: Project shelved Scorcher The International Automotive Scene 96 24th February 2016 13:46
Tata Motors plans to launch 100 new commercial vehicles by 2018 Aditya Commercial Vehicles 0 6th February 2015 17:00
Audi plans Two Electric Vehicles by 2018 D C The International Automotive Scene 0 7th January 2015 21:27


All times are GMT +5.5. The time now is 10:56.

Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Team-BHP.com
Proudly powered by E2E Networks