The Ford EcoSport is currently being manufactured in India at the factory in Chennai for both the domestic and export markets. But now, the Euro-spec version of the car will be made in Craiova, Romania by the end of 2017.
As part of the ‘One Ford’ plan which was started by Alan Mulally back in 2006, Ford has announced that it will transfer production of the Euro-spec EcoSport to its factory in Craiova, Romania. The Chennai plant used to do a round the clock production of the EcoSport, which was then exported to Europe. But a majority of the EcoSport in Europe will now be built in Romania.
The EcoSport SUVs made in Craiova will be sold in all of Ford’s European markets, except Russia. The Indian operations will now focus on rest of the world and the North American market. Ford’s factory in Craiova, Romania currently produces the B-Max MPV along with the 1.0-litre EcoBoost engine. The MPV has seen a huge decline in sales recently due to which the production capabilities of the plant are unused and resulting in losses.
Moving the already popular EcoSport there will help boost profits for the factory. It’s the right time to move EcoSport production to Europe and take advantage of the excellent workforce and operations available in Craiova. Ford models like the new Ka (Figo in certain parts of the world including India) are also likely to be built in the same factory eventually.
The Romanian built model will be quite different to the one we see now and Ford says that the car will go through some changes, both stylistically and from a technical point of view. Ford has said it will launch five new SUV and crossover vehicles in Europe in the next three years, starting with the Edge in the second quarter of 2016.
As high rider cars are on high demand in Europe, Ford expects its SUV sales to grow by about 30 percent in 2016 compared with 2015, and reach a milestone of 2,00,000 units for the first time ever in Europe.
Ford’s Chennai Vehicle Assembly Plant will continue to manufacture the EcoSport for other export markets around the world. The shifting, which might sound like a loss to the Indian plant, will in fact be marking a major milestone in its history of domestic operations.
Ford India launched the EcoSport in June 2013 and the vehicle achieved 2,00,000 sales milestone in domestic and exports combined in August 2015. The company recently dropped prices of its compact SUV to tackle competition from the recently launched Maruti Vitara Brezza.
European Ford EcoSport Production
– Ford has made this decision to take advantage of the excellent workforce and operations available in Craiova
– The Romanian model will undergo some changes for better sales
– The Indian operations will now focus on rest of the world and the North American market production