Ford doesn't have an EcoSport for Team-BHP; Borrow yours?


3 months up since the car has been launched

About 20 requests for a media car have been made

Several emails & messages exchanged

And many phone calls later...

...We are emailed curtly and in one line that

"As mentioned to you a while back, the vehicle isn't available."

In these 3 months, it has been made amply clear by Ford that they don't have an EcoSport test-drive vehicle for Team-BHP. I've been part of the industry long enough to recognise a cold shoulder when I see one. Hence, we are left with two alternatives:

  • Option 1 (Borrow): A generous Team-BHP fan lends us his / her car. Sincere request to all of you out there for the same & we promise to take the utmost care of it :). Thanks in advance! As a small token of appreciation, we'll gift your car any accessory or extra you got your eyes on (be it a tyre or ICE upgrade, even an extended warranty & service plan). Please reply on this thread or PM me if we could borrow your car for 1 - 2 days. If you aren't registered on Team-BHP, request to drop me an email on g t o @ team-bhp . com (without the spaces). We need to get our hands on the "S" variant - EcoBoost or TDCI, any engine is welcome. If you aren't from Bombay, don't worry - we'll fly to wherever you are based. Should you so prefer, your + your car's identity will be kept 100% anonymous. Thanks again - very grateful!
  • Option 2 (Buy): If no Team-BHP member or guest has the car we are looking for, Team-BHP will buy an EcoSport S for a very short period, complete its review and then sell the car off.

One thing I am absolutely certain of = Not even the manufacturer of a car can block Team-BHP's access to it. Whether this car or any other model in the future, we are damn persistent and will do WHATEVER it takes to get our hands on one, as its very important to Team-BHP's primary purpose of providing unbiased information on the Indian Car Scene (Official Reviews are a big part of this mission).

I find it peculiar that Ford suddenly doesn't have test-drive cars for us. All of the Fords we've reviewed in the recent years - from the Freestyle to the Endeavour and the Mustang to the Figo Sports - were sent to us in Bombay without hesitation. Suddenly however, the EcoSport "isn't available" to Team-BHP, despite continuous followups for months. What's worse, neither is a timeline given to us on when it might be expected, despite us explicitly asking for it. Team-BHP has been officially reviewing Ford cars for 8 years now, and this is the FIRST time since 2010 that I am hearing a car isn't available for us.

So what happened suddenly? I don't know. For our part, we know that we've always played it fair & reviewed cars objectively. See the likes & dislikes of any of our Ford reviews (or any other brand), and even owners of those cars won't debate with us over the observations. The only notable Ford thread that went live after the EcoSport media drives is the Endeavour Chassis one and I sure hope it has nothing to do with the situation we find ourselves in. If anything, Ford owes an answer to Endeavour owners! Renault was big enough to send us the Captur after this thread, while the TUV300 Plus is on its way to us after this thread. If any manufacturer thinks they can 'block access' to cars, I guess they are stuck in 1990.

Were we part of the EcoSport media drive that took place earlier in the year? Of course, we were. But as all BHPians (and manufacturers) know by now, the handful of hours that we get with a car at a 1 - 2 day media drive isn't sufficient for a Team-BHP Official Review (link to related thread). Heck, for most cars, our photoshoot alone takes up more time than what we get at media events. For all of our recent reviews, be it the Amaze, Creta Facelift, Yaris and even the S-Class, we had the car to ourselves in Bombay. Reason = Quality takes time. We spend a lot of time understanding a new car, shooting 1,000+ pictures & reviewing it in detail. We write anywhere between 6,000 - 8,000 words and publish 200 - 300 images. Plus, while I personally cannot go to every media drive, I make it a point to comprehensively test-drive each & every car that is there in Mumbai. This is important to me as I proof-read every Official Review before it goes live (word by word).

Whatever the actual reason for us not getting a car, Ford needn't sweat. We'll always be more neutral than you could ever 'aspire' to be (pun intended), Ford. I'll be the first to state that the EcoSport & Endeavour are my top choices in their respective segments, as proven by my several posts on the forum. Needless to say, we will review the EcoSport as objectively as we do all cars, no matter what source we get the demo vehicle from. It's our duty to Team-BHP's readers. 

Notes to Ford:

•    In the time since its launch, you have produced 10,000+ EcoSports (source). Am surprised that, as India's foremost automotive website, Team-BHP couldn't get ONE of them for a review?

•    Team-BHP has 20 - 25 lakh monthly readers who trust it for unbiased + detailed reviews of all cars (including Fords, by the way).

•    Remember that members of this community constitute the reason behind your company's existence. WE ARE THE CAR OWNERS who buy your cars & pay your bills. Whenever in doubt, click here.

•    My call & whatsapp message to your team dated 2nd August are still unanswered. At the very least, have the courtesy to respond. Basic etiquette, manners and all that....

•    If you still insist the actual reason is logistical, well, your lack of preparation is alarming!! Get your act together. Last I checked, the EcoSport is your best selling car in India and hence, the most important. How can you NOT have media cars available in Mumbai, where a majority of the automotive media is based? Every car that has been launched after the EcoSport S is already here! Even if you were to do the drive in reverse gear, it wouldn't take 3 months to get from Chennai to Mumbai.

•    Some trivia for you = our most viewed Official Review is that of the EcoSport with a whopping 1.2 crore views (image attached). THINK about that for a moment.

Redlining the Indian Scene