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Old 2nd August 2017, 20:04   #1
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Default Rumour: Ford developing premium hatch for India & emerging markets

India's premium hatchback draws attention. After Nissan rumoured to bring the Micra now Ford draws out its plan for this segment and beyond.

But launch is not anytime soon, the earliest being 2020.

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Ford’s India operations are set to get a boost with a range of all-new models coming off a new platform that is being developed for India and other emerging markets.
Rumour: Ford developing premium hatch for India & emerging markets-0_578_872_http___cdni_autocarindia_com_extraimages_20170802101859_sketch.jpg

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This new platform (Code: B563) will cater to higher segments , the first model off of it will be a premium hatchback, positioned above the Figo, squarely going up against the hot-selling Hyundai i20 and Suzuki Baleno.

This will be followed by a mid-size sedan, which again will sit above the Aspire and rival the Honda City, the segment king, and essentially fill the gap left by the Fiesta after it was discontinued in 2015.

The B563 platform allows to be far more cost efficient which is the key to competitive pricing in India
Quote:
Also, they are being designed to meet future emission regulations which are set to get all the more stringent beyond 2023, when the Real Driving Emissions (RDE) test cycle is expected to be implemented. This means a new range of clean petrol and, in particular, diesel engines will have to be developed by then. To be future-proof, Ford will manufacture its state-of-the-art ‘Dragon’ family of small displacement petrol engines in India to power its future compact model range. In fact, the Dragon engine family hasn’t been launched yet and the global debut of this new powerplant will be in India in the coming weeks.
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Last edited by volkman10 : 2nd August 2017 at 20:10.
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Old 2nd August 2017, 20:09   #2
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Default re: Rumour: Ford developing premium hatch for India & emerging markets

Its high time they did this.

They have some brilliant cars in other markets which they can get here.
If it wasn't for the stupid tax exemptions we had, we could have the full size Aspire sedan sold in South America.

On the other hand, Hope they get some yummy engines with the premium hatch.
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Old 2nd August 2017, 20:41   #3
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Default re: Rumour: Ford developing premium hatch for India & emerging markets

Looks like GTO absolutely nailed it earlier today, while discussing Ford's upcoming plans, in this thread -

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Originally Posted by GTO View Post
2. They should continue exploiting other segments. I again bring up the EcoSport's & Endeavour's success. Going further on this, I would strongly recommend Ford to bring in a solid premium hatchback, sitting above the Figo. I also think they should bring an SUV between the EcoSport & Endeavour - lots of room there.
On another important note, they mentioned this -
Quote:
In fact, the Dragon engine family hasn’t been launched yet and the global debut of this new powerplant will be in India in the coming weeks.
Could only mean one thing and one thing only. The dragon engine series will debut on the Ecosport facelift.

Last edited by CrAzY dRiVeR : 2nd August 2017 at 20:45.
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Old 2nd August 2017, 20:57   #4
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Default re: Rumour: Ford developing premium hatch for India & emerging markets

A reliable Ford birdie shares this info:-

Three test mules of this premium B563 hatchback are now doing the rounds inside and around Ford's Sanand plant, heavily camouflaged. They haven't ventured out into open roads/highways yet. Birdie says that the B563 looks beautiful, even under all the camouflage.

Also, the B563 hatch will remind one of the current Figo from the front and side but has an all-new, striking rear profile. Compared to the Figo, it is bigger in size, has all-new front & rear bumper sections, hood and bonnet as well as a very different headlamp design line, and will come with bigger displacement engines. Overall look of the B563 is very striking, and the front silhouette will remind one of the B-MAX mini MPV.

The export version of this premium hatchback from Ford is based on the "B562E" platform (Figo/Aspire). This project is under development since mid-2016.

Recently, there has been a shortage for transmission systems for these two projects so production at Sanand for this month will take a small hit.

Last edited by RavenAvi : 2nd August 2017 at 21:00. Reason: minor edits.
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Old 2nd August 2017, 21:22   #5
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Default re: Rumour: Ford developing premium hatch for India & emerging markets

That is very good news indeed. Looking at how aggresively Ford is trying to bring down service costs, I think this Hatch could be a hit if:

  • Ford gives it the potent Dragon 1.5 Litre engines, which is most probably going to be the case
  • Interior quality is not compromised (Yes, Figo twins anyone?)
  • Build quality is retained and we get those usual Ford characteristics back
  • Again, those trademark Ford characteristics also include the handling and driving dynamics, both of which were compromised in the Figo twins
  • The car is priced and marketed well. While I can vouch for pricing, marketing is something I still can't get my head around. Remember, the poor Endy's yoyo pricing and the Ecosport feature list goof ups?

To put it simply, I expect this hatchback to feel like it fits the Indian market (Feature list, FE, et all), BUT, I want it to feel like a global product in essence, like the i20 does.

Ford HAS to get these things right in order to succeed. The success of the premium hatch segment has both positive and negative repercussions. If you do well, you are a runaway success (Baleno and i20), but don't give it the best shot and the public will turn a deaf ear. It is do or die IMHO.

Last edited by vishy76 : 2nd August 2017 at 21:24.
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Old 2nd August 2017, 21:25   #6
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But 2020? Does your birdie peg the launch happening anytime sooner, given that it already has test vehicles running around in its factory?
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Old 2nd August 2017, 21:31   #7
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The Fiesta hatchback is almost 4M in length. Just needs a little butt job to bring it under 4M.

Why would Ford not introduce that instead of waiting for 3 years for this new hatch?

It is one car where the hatch looks better than the sedan. Get the 1.5 Diesel for volumes and Ecoboost for sport version.

Last edited by SchumiFan : 2nd August 2017 at 21:38.
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Old 2nd August 2017, 21:32   #8
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Default re: Rumour: Ford developing premium hatch for India & emerging markets

Why don't we get the Ford Focus to compete with the Punto Abarth & Polo TSI ? I'm salivating at the thought !!! Come on Ford get serious about India
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Old 2nd August 2017, 22:24   #9
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Default re: Rumour: Ford developing premium hatch for India & emerging markets

Quote:
Originally Posted by RavenAvi View Post
A reliable Ford birdie shares this info
If they already have test mules and are looking transmission systems in numbers enough to hit production, are they close to producing it? I'm looking for something in that segment and the current offerings do not excite me.

Last edited by GTO : 3rd August 2017 at 10:26. Reason: Please quote ONLY the relevant bits of a post. Quoting a full, long post inconveniences our mobile readers.
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Old 2nd August 2017, 23:53   #10
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Default re: Rumour: Ford developing premium hatch for India & emerging markets

Just put an Ecoboost with at least 125 PS into this and it would be ideal. Put in a DCT too and I'll be the first customer !! On a serious note this is the perfect product to fill the gap in their product portfolio, but I don't believe that this is the path they find fit.

-Being under 4m, I don't think they will find any more space in it than the Ecosport
-Keeping it above the Figo definitely means it will be cross shopped with the Ecosport
-Ford already has a new Fiesta globally which has more space than the last one and should do very well if launched as a hatch( for the sedan they obviously need a longer wheelbase). Hope they don't have to invest too much into the R &D as they need to counter the Baleno which has fantastic pricing. Within a price delta of 30-40k,I wouldn't think twice about which car to buy (It would the Ford)
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Old 4th August 2017, 16:36   #11
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Default Re: Rumour: Ford developing premium hatch for India & emerging markets

Quote:
Originally Posted by CrAzY dRiVeR View Post
Looks like GTO absolutely nailed it earlier today, while discussing Ford's upcoming plans, in this thread -
Thanks!

The only thing that worries me is the 'made for India & emerging markets' part. The EcoSport is truly a world class product, and so is the Endeavour. My wishlist was for a European premium hatchback brought here; Made for India is industry language for cheap + light + stripped down.
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Old 4th August 2017, 17:00   #12
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I don't get one thing. Why is Ford developing a hatchback for Asian markets when the fiesta hatchback is already available? New generation launched, has better space and interior quality etc.
Also ford won't be selling the fiesta in the US, so they could make the fiesta here .
I don't understand why they are spending money on a new car entirely? They messed up the Figo due to its poor petrol engines and so so interiors.
Might as well save the money and deliver a proper hatchback the first time, rather than a half baked product and them improve on it.

I guess the new fiesta won't be launched in the sedan form,but that shouldn't stop them from modifying the existing fiesta. I doubt it would be more expensive to create a sedan version of the fiesta than design a New car from ground up.
Hope Ford gets its act together. It really responds slowly to any market situation.

Last edited by rambo1o1 : 4th August 2017 at 17:02.
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Old 5th August 2017, 14:54   #13
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Default Re: Rumour: Ford developing premium hatch for India & emerging markets

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Originally Posted by Ricky_63 View Post
Why don't we get the Ford Focus to compete with the Punto Abarth & Polo TSI ? I'm salivating at the thought !!! Come on Ford get serious about India
That would be some wishful thinking, the Focus is a class ahead of the Polo and the Punto. New Fiesta is where it should be at but I doubt if people would choose it over Baleno and I20.
I wish they just launch something from their European portfolio, as the last time Ford developed something with India in mind, the result was not very "Ford" (Aspire).
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Old 8th August 2017, 12:36   #14
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Default Re: Rumour: Ford developing premium hatch for India & emerging markets

I get a bit saddened whenever i hear the phrases "Designed for India & emerging markets". It always reminds me of the Etios/Liva.

What is the problem is taking the Fiesta Hatchback from the EU/UK and launching it here?

Globally, the Fiesta competes with the Polo & i20 in the supermini class.
What is the difficulty here, in India?

A good product with a good price will never fail!


Quote:
Originally Posted by Ricky_63 View Post
Why don't we get the Ford Focus to compete with the Punto Abarth & Polo TSI ? I'm salivating at the thought !!! Come on Ford get serious about India
That is because the Focus competes with Large Hatchbacks like Golf, Astra, i30, Megane etc, which are from a complete segment above.

Last edited by abhishek46 : 8th August 2017 at 12:40. Reason: added comment
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Old 8th August 2017, 13:13   #15
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Default Re: Rumour: Ford developing premium hatch for India & emerging markets

Any announcements containing 'emerging markets' and 'cost efficient/competitive' are just PR-speak for el cheapo quality.

The only premium bit will probably be the absurd price-tag.

Last edited by Chetan_Rao : 8th August 2017 at 13:14.
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