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Old 24th May 2005, 13:06   #1
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Default Ford to wow India with global car

Economic Times article.

CHENNAI: Ford is set to vow the Indian motown later this year with a global car, completely designed and developed in Australia, that will be first launched in India before any other market. Its plant near Chennai will become the export hub for the model, which is a totally new car in Ford’s stable world-wide.

Code named ‘B376’, the new car is likely to be positioned as an entry level ‘D’ segment model in India and help it bridge the wide gap between the Ikon, its offering in the Indian ‘C’ segment and the Mondeo in the ‘E’ segment. The new car will be taking on the likes of the high-end Honda City and Chevorlet Optra.

“It is not the Ford Focus nor something that’s built on the Fiesta platform. It’s a totally new car, which will be wider than the Ikon and looking more attractive,” sources privy to the development process told ET. “To be launched in both petrol and diesel variants, it is likely to carry a price tag of Rs 7-9 lakh,” they added.

It will be launched with a high localised content. “While the petrol engine will be sourced from within the country, the diesel engines are to be imported,” they pointed out.

At present, the car is being extensively test driven, under cover, in various parts of the country. It is set to hit the Indian roads sometime during November or December, ‘05 and it may well be a Christmas gift from Ford in India, which is establishing a separate assembly line for the same.

When contacted, Vinay K Piparsania, vice-president—marketing, sales & service and external affairs, Ford India agreed that Ford is in the process of developing a new car for the Indian market. However, he declined to reveal product specifics nor price range, citing competitive reasons.

“It is an India specific product and tests are on for the new car in various Indian regions,” he said. “Whatever product that we bring in, it will be right for the Indian market like the Ikon and Endeavour,” he pointed out.

Ford, Piparsania said, follows a very highly disciplined and structured evaluation and validation process for any new product, so that it is right for the target market. “Even the dashboard of the new car has been designed, keeping in mind the Indian customer. Almost all Ikon vendors have been sounded off for supplies to the new car,” sources in Ford vendor community said.

As for exports, India is tipped to be the manufacturing hub for the new car for several countries, may be even to Australia, where it has been completely designed. “We look at export opportunities for any product. But, the first step is always to create a strong domestic presence,” Piparsania said.

Piparsania recalled the success of Ikon, which was launched specifically for the Indian market. “Given the success of Ikon, in both the domestic as well as the export markets, such opportunities could be there for future products, too,” he observed.


This is Ford's long awaited replacement for the aging Ikon. What's news for me is that the new model is not based on the Fiesta platform.
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Old 24th May 2005, 13:12   #2
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Very interesting. The question to ask here is, what would they compromise on in opting for a entry 'D' car? The interiors and comfort I'm guessing are gonna be top notch. But what bout the engine and panels? Will it really be worth it, if it positioned inhte D segment, but is not a Mondeo??
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Old 24th May 2005, 13:39   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnjacob
This is Ford's long awaited replacement for the aging Ikon. What's news for me is that the new model is not based on the Fiesta platform.
I doubt if this is meant to replace the Ikon since its in a different price bracket. The Ikon surely needs a revision, though.

I wonder if our friends living near the ARAI can get some spyshots...or could this be the one that hkanitkar snapped?
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Old 24th May 2005, 14:32   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steeroid
I doubt if this is meant to replace the Ikon since its in a different price bracket. The Ikon surely needs a revision, though.

I wonder if our friends living near the ARAI can get some spyshots...or could this be the one that hkanitkar snapped?
Oops, I missed the D-segment part. I had read that Ford was developing an Ikon replacement in Australia too, so when I saw this article, I kinda just put two and two together.
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Old 24th May 2005, 16:32   #5
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Gut instinct tells me its the same one as hkanitkar snapped.....we couldn't seem to place the car and i mentioned in one of my posts that it appears too wide (read big) to be a c segment offering (thus ruling out the fabia)!

they say they're using an engine sourced from within the country....my guess is a 1.8 litre....which they're possibly getting from HM.....who already makes engines for them (correct me if i'm wrong)....this should be interesting to wait and watch

it only gets better for the indian consumer
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Old 24th May 2005, 18:54   #6
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I was thinking the same thing about the car being something like a Focus.
Allright ford.
Maybe they will use the 2.0lt and 1.6 lt durateq engines.
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Old 24th May 2005, 21:26   #7
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Oh man this is so cool I can wait for more info and pics!!!!
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Old 25th May 2005, 14:06   #8
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Any one from Chennai who saw the fully camouflaged Fords? I was going towards Chennai when I saw about 6 of them. Looked like an MUV with roof-rails/racks. My initial thoughs were Innova competition. But smaller than that, lengthwise.
Have couple of snaps on my SE 610. But the photographer (wife) did not do a good job. Does not show any details though ;-)

Siva
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Old 25th May 2005, 14:53   #9
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I saw one yestreday.
completely covered
could not much details
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Old 25th May 2005, 21:44   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by v_s_natarajan
I saw one yestreday.
completely covered
could not much details
How did it look. Any pics.. Anywayz i dont know how well will the car do since ford has not been launching any products of late except stripping Ikon and relaunching it again and again..
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Old 25th May 2005, 22:59   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thalavoy
Looked like an MUV with roof-rails/racks. My initial thoughs were Innova competition. But smaller than that, lengthwise.
Sounds too much like the Fusion to me. Why would they launch something that so close to an existing product. Chennai guys....do some snooping around the factory.
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