In another testament of the growing importance of India as an export hub for global car manufacturers, Ford Motor Co will sell its made-in-India EcoSport in the US, starting 2018.
The Detroit-based auto major unveiled the facelifted version of the EcoSport at the Los Angeles Motor Show last week. The compact SUV, a first for the North American market by Ford, will make its debut in the US by early 2018.
Confirming the news, USA Today, an American daily, said, “EcoSport is going to be made in India and imported into the US,” adding that “the car will be manufactured in Chennai before it goes on sale in 2018.” Speaking to the newspaper, Michael O’Brien, Ford’s marketing manager for SUVs, said: “We build EcoSport in six locations around the globe. We sell it in 100 markets, and so, just like we make Explorers and export from here into other global markets, we are going to export EcoSport from Asia Pacific, and we are going to sell it here in the US.”
Made at the Chennai plant in India, Ford currently ships the EcoSport to nearly 40 countries. While the EcoSport has been a big success for the company in India, it currently ships more cars outside the country. During April-October 2016, Ford India has shipped 49,136 units of the EcoSport, thus making it the most exported car from the country as well.
Ford India manufactured and introduced the EcoSport in India in May 2013. The compact SUV is also assembled in Brazil, Thailand and Russia and will be made in Romania next year.
While the EcoSport showcased at the LA Motor Show will go on sale in India as a facelift next year, the North American version will come standard with a front-wheel-drive, 1.0-litre, three-cylinder, turbocharged EcoBoost engine. Another 2.0-litre, four-cylinder engine with four-wheel drive will be optional. Both engine options come with a six-speed automatic transmission. It will feature four trim levels – S, SE, SES and Titanium – and 10 colour choices.
The Indian variant is likely to have the same engine options that are currently on offer but it will get the new revised centre console crowned with Ford’s SYNC 3 touchscreen infotainment system, which is likely to add to its desirability factor for domestic buyers.
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