Following the success launch of their first small car, the Figo in the Indian auto market, Ford said that they would be launching more mid-sized hatchbacks for the mass car market in India.
These cars will most probably be part of the company’s 8 new planned launches in this market by 2015. This market is accountable for more than 70% of the overall car sales, and witnesses heavy competition from more than 20 models from over 11 car makers.
The company’s head and MD, Michael Boneham, said that as they move along, more products will be released in the hatchback market, though he cannot give further details about these models. This segment has a huge base that justifies the need for more products.
The first of their new range, the Ford Fiesta was launched yesterday for a price ranging between INR 8.3 lakhs to 9.51 lakhs for the diesel powered variant. The compact Fiesta is offered in four different trim variants, with an option to choose from 7 colours.
The new Fiesta is quipped with diesel and petrol engines, and will be manufactured at their Chennai plant that has a production capacity of 2 lakhs per annum. Other features of the car include Bluetooth Voice Control for the music system and cruise control, along with front airbags and an anti-locking brake system that are offered as standard. According to Ford, the new Fiesta has a fuel economy of 23.5kmpl with the diesel variant, and 17kmpl with the petrol variant.
Boneham also added that they had already received some pre-orders for it. The company, also incidentally halted production of their entry level Ikon sedan, however the older Fiesta is now sold as Fiesta Classic. This version is priced lower in comparison to the new Fiesta by about INR 3 lakhs at INR 5.49 lakhs. The diesel powered Fiesta Classic is available for INR 6.48 lakhs.
Following the unprecedented demand for diesel powered variants, Ford is faced with production constraints of diesel engines for which they plan to increase production capacity. This demand has also managed to dampen sales of their Figo car.
The company’s executive director of sales, services and marketing, Nigel Wark, said there has been a constraint in production of diesel engines, especially as their suppliers are not able to keep up production capacity with the demand. They are expanding their diesel engine capacity, but it would take time. Once they are done with this, they will a rise in sales of their Figo car once again.