Ford’s Honda City rival based on the B500 platform cancelled as the American brand focusses on increasing volume sales of existing products
Ford seems to have put off the plans for developing a mid-size sedan in the C-segment to rival against the Honda City, Maruti Suzuki Ciaz, Volkswagen Vento and Skoda Rapid. The sedan that was supposed to be in the pipeline had been said to succeed the underwhelming Ford Fiesta according to ET Auto.
Effectively putting an end to the in-house developed of the sedan from Ford’s Indian subsidiary in Chennai, it was initially tipped to arrive at the market in two years’ time. With the abandoning of B500 platform based sedan, the American auto giant is seeking ways to improve market share by focussing on the current portfolio instead.
Ford appeared first at the Indian market in late ‘90s but it is yet to achieve a humongous leap in sales. Ford EcoSport set the benchmark in the sub-four metre compact SUV segment but with the arrival of Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza and other crossovers its popularity has diminished lately. Rubbing salt to the wound was the latest gen Figo twins as despite being potent products, they floundered to attract customers.
The company launched Mustang GT pony car as its flagship model a few weeks back but it is no way a volume chaser. The new Ford Endeavour premium SUV entered in January 2016 has been taking the fight to Toyota Fortuner but then again it cannot produce volume numbers. The current situation puts emphasise on the next avatar of Ford EcoSport but the segment is tightly packed with the advent of micro-SUVs and slightly premium compact crossovers.
General Motors doesn’t appear to be bringing the Global Emerging Market platform to our shores which eventually hold the $1 billion investment plans. While showing discontent over the stringent emission norms about to be introduced and the NGT’s push to ban diesel vehicles, GM is currently conducting a “full review of future product programme”. Subsequently, Ford has commenced a marketing campaign and initiated several service initiatives to boost the sales.
India is likely to become the world’s third-largest car market by 2020, according to IHS, up from fifth place now, with annual sales nearly doubling to about 5 million vehicles from 2.7 million last year. Compared to Ford, Renault is relatively new to India but since it aimed at affordable space, the Kwid made all the difference. Perhaps for the struggling manufacturers, India-specific vehicles will be ultimate key for their future success?
Soure: ET Auto