Ford has launched the EcoSport in India today, firing in all directions and blowing away each and everyone of its competitors. The EcoSport was expected to unsettle the Renault Duster but Ford’s aggressive pricing means that even cars from different segments will feel the heat. A quick visit to a Ford dealership reveals the picture, as you can see above, everyone has come out to check the Ford EcoSport. The rush is only going to get higher as Ford steps up on advertising its compact SUV in India. A Ford dealership has received more footfalls today than it does in an entire month!
It’s not everyday that a product is launched that changes the complete dynamics of the market. The Ford EcoSport is one such product which will not only cause sleepless nights at Renault-Nissan but will also cause a lot of stress on other carmakers like Maruti Suzuki, Hyundai, Volkswagen and Honda. Renault will have to revise prices of the Duster soon, while Nissan will have to re-think the upcoming Terrano’s positioning. The EcoSport’s 10 variants span across a wide price range means many cars will indirectly come in the firing line of Ford. The base Ambiente variant gets audio system with Bluetooth, central locking with flip key, power steering, front power windows, electrically adjustable outside rear view mirrors, etc. Even the Trend variant (one up on base trim) gets ABS, rear wiper/defogger, all four power windows, steering mounted audio controls, etc.
To put it into perspective, cars like the Toyota Innova, Chevrolet Enjoy, Mahindra Xylo, Nissan Evalia need not worry much as most buyers who want the extra row of seats opt for these vehicle. The Evalia doesn’t even sell so there is absolutely no worry for Nissan there (117 units sold last month). The Mahindra Quanto on the other hand is going to be history. Why would anyone want to buy a Quanto with unsettled dynamics when they can get the Ford EcoSport with such brilliant handling and crisp steering? Other cars which are certainly going to be affected by the EcoSport include the Mahindra Scorpio, Mahindra XUV500, Tata Safari (both regular and Storme), Toyota Etios, Fiat Grande Punto, Tata Manza, Fiat Linea, Skoda Rapid, Volkswagen Vento, etc.
Why do I say the EcoSport will affect other body styles? Because in India, an SUV is the ultimate body style and people will do anything to get an SUV. Ford knows it and in spite of the base EcoSport not getting excise duty benefits of small cars, Ford has priced the vehicle very aggressively.
Ford EcoSport vs Ford Figo – The EcoSport will cannibalize sales of the Figo. People opting for the top-end Figo might be tempted to pay Rs. 59,000/- more to get the base diesel EcoSport. The top-end Figo diesel comes at Rs. 7.34 lakhs while the base EcoSport diesel is priced at Rs. 7.93 lakhs.
Ford EcoSport vs Mahindra Quanto – People opting for the C6 or C8 variant of the Quanto are very likely to opt for the base EcoSport diesel which comes in at a cheaper price. The Quanto’s top variants are priced at Rs. 8.06 lakhs and 8.64 lakhs, while the diesel EcoSport Ambiente is priced at Rs. 7.93 lakhs and the Trend variant is priced at Rs. 9.01 lakhs.
Ford EcoSport vs Premier RiO – First mover advantage doesn’t necessarily work always. Case in point is the RiO, which although the first compact SUV in India, is quite horrible when it comes to dynamics and quality. The petrol engine on the RiO is below average and the only saving grace is Fiat’s Multijet diesel engine in the RiO which is priced at Rs. 7.94 lakhs. The base EcoSport is Rs. 1000/- cheaper and much better in terms of quality and dynamics.
Ford EcoSport vs Maruti Swift – A person buying the Swift might be tempted to get a compact SUV. While the petrol engine on the Swift is more frugal than the 1.5-litre petrol EcoSport, the diesel powered model can be a lucrative option for those opting for the ZDi variant of the Swift. The Swift ZDi is priced at Rs. 8.34 lakhs and lower varaints of the EcoSport diesel are available at Rs. 7.93 lakhs for the Ambiente and Rs. 9.01 lakhs for the Trend.
Ford EcoSport vs Volkswagen Polo – The Volkswagen Polo can sense danger. The base 1.5-litre EcoSport petrol comes in at Rs. 6.63 lakhs, almost Rs. 40,000/- cheaper than the petrol Polo Highline. The top end Polo diesel is priced at Rs. 8.43 lakhs and the diesel EcoSport is well within reach. However most importantly the Polo GT TSI is only Rs. 2000/- cheaper than the EcoSport EcoBoost Titanium variant.
Ford EcoSport vs Hyundai i20 – Hyundai is going to feel the real heat from the EcoSport. The top end diesel i20 is priced at Rs. 9.25 lakhs, around Rs. 24,000/- more than the diesel EcoSport Trend variant. The i20 Automatic is priced at Rs. 9.37 lakhs and the EcoSport automatic comes in at Rs. 10.01 lakhs, offering more features (ESP, Hill Hold Assist, etc) while also offering a much more advanced gearbox.
Ford EcoSport vs Maruti DZire – The DZire has had a dream run till now but the EcoSport might spoil its party. The DZire ZXi costs Rs. 6000/- more than the 1.5-litre petrol EcoSport Trend variant. The top-end DZire is priced at Rs. 9.03 lakhs, Rs. 2000/- more than the diesel EcoSport Trend.
Ford EcoSport vs Honda Amaze – The EX variant (one up over the base) of the diesel Amaze is priced at Rs. 7.84 lakhs while the base EcoSport diesel is priced at Rs. 7.93 lakhs. The top end diesel Amaze is priced at Rs. 9.35 lakhs, while the Trend EcoSport diesel costs Rs. 9.01 lakhs. Honda doesn’t have much to worry as the Amaze offers more interior and boot space than the Ford.
Ford EcoSport vs Maruti Ertiga – The ZXi variant of the Ertiga is priced at Rs. 8.96 lakhs, while the 1.5-litre petrol EcoSport Titanium is priced at Rs. 8.88 lakhs. The top-end diesel Ertiga ZDi is priced at Rs. 10.64 lakhs while the top-end EcoSport Titanium (O) is priced at Rs. 10.66 lakhs. You get way more features in the EcoSport, although the Ertiga offers you 7-seats and there is a CNG option too.
Ford EcoSport vs Hyundai Verna – Last month Hyundai sold 4710 units of the Verna which might not happen again. All variants of the Verna are much more expensive than comparable EcoSport variants. The Verna range starts at Rs. 8.56 lakhs and goes all the way up to Rs. 13.83 lakhs. The Ford EcoSport range on the other hand starts at Rs. 6.63 lakhs and goes up to Rs. 10.66 lakhs. Variant to variant, the Verna is around Rs. 1.5 lakhs more expensive but to Hyundai’s credit, the diesel is also offered in two automatic variants and quality is very good. Top end petrol automatic variants of the EcoSport and Verna see a price difference of Rs. 2 lakhs between them. While the top-end Verna 1.6 CRDi SX (O) is priced at Rs. 12.95 lakhs, the top-end EcoSport diesel is priced at Rs. 10.66 lakhs for the Titanium (O) variant.
Ford EcoSport vs Ford Fiesta – The EcoSport will also eat into its sibling Fiesta’s sales, on which it is largely based. Aggressive localisation, economies of scale (as exports are planned) and sub 4-metre length (lower excise duty) means the EcoSport costs around Rs. 2 lakhs less than the Fiesta (some variants). The EcoSport’s Automatic variant is Rs. 2.01 lakhs cheaper although both cars use the same engine and gearbox. The difference between the top-end diesel models is Rs. 1.93 lakhs, even though the EcoSport has more features.
Ford EcoSport vs Renault Duster – Ford has created absolute havoc for Renault. The Duster has been overpriced since day one and multiple price hikes have only made the overpriced Duster even more overpriced. The base Duster is priced at Rs. 9.05 lakhs while the base EcoSport is priced at Rs. 6.63 lakhs, that is a difference of Rs. 2.42 lakhs. The base Duster diesel is priced at Rs. 10.06 lakhs while the base EcoSport diesel comes in at Rs. 7.93 lakhs, a difference of 2.13 lakhs! If you compare the top-end Duster 85 PS diesel (priced at Rs. 12.73 lakhs) with the top-end EcoSport diesel, you will see the price difference between them is Rs. 2.07 lakhs. Comparing the top-end EcoSport diesel with the top-end Duster 110 PS RxZ (Opt) shows a whooping price difference of Rs. 3.49 lakhs. Yes, the top-end Duster costs Rs. 14.15 lakhs. Renault really needs a French revolution now.
Ford EcoSport On-Road Prices –
- EcoSport Ambiente 1.5 Petrol – Rs. 6.63 lakhs
- EcoSport Trend 1.5 Petrol – Rs. 7.69 lakhs
- EcoSport Ambiente 1.5 Diesel – Rs. 7.93 lakhs
- EcoSport Titanium 1.5 Petrol – Rs. 8.88 lakhs
- EcoSport Trend 1.5 Diesel – Rs. 9.01 lakhs
- EcoSport Titanium 1.0 EcoBoost – Rs. 9.35 lakhs
- EcoSport Titanium (O) 1.0 EcoBoost – Rs. 9.81 lakhs
- EcoSport Titanium 1.5 Petrol AT – Rs. 10.01 lakhs
- EcoSport Titanium 1.5 Diesel – Rs. 10.21 lakhs
- EcoSport Titanium (O) 1.5 Diesel – Rs. 10.66 lakhs
* All prices mentioned above are on-road, Mumbai.
As you can see in the price differences above, the Ford EcoSport is priced in such a manner, it takes out more rivals than Ford intended for in the first place. The EcoSport is the next Swift on Indian roads, you are going to see plenty of them and most are likely to be painted in Mars Red shade. The past 30 hours have decided the 2013 awards, the Ford EcoSport is likely to take the car of the year honours, while the KTM Duke 390 is likely to grab the bike of the year award. Maybe something better can change this, automobile manufacturers are you listening?
A local Ford showroom is holding a dealer launch above, with snacks to welcome customers. They need a lot of samosas today because the number of people walking in a Ford dealership today easily out number the amount of walk-ins in a Hero showroom. If you haven’t met your friends lately, you are bound to clash into them at a Ford showroom near you, I know, I met a few childhood buddies who came to check out the EcoSport!