Ford India said troubles with its parent in US will not affect its planned $500 million investments for India, and added that the Ford Fiesta hatchback would hit the market by early 2010 with localisation as high as 85% to keep the price competitive. Ford’s small car for India would come with petrol and diesel engines, both falling within the small car definition of the government to avail lower excise benefits i.e. petrol engine under 1200cc and diesel under 1500cc with overall length below four metres.

“It will the first offering from Ford in the mass-market segment and we are making efforts to keep it cost-competitive while making it a great value proposition,” Michael Boneham, MD and president of Ford India said.

Ford India is making efforts to ensure that its new small car, that is being designed and engineered for the Indian market, is attractively priced considering it faces tough competition from players like Maruti Suzuki, Hyundai and Tata. Ford India also plans to export the car. The US auto major that posted a record $14.7 billion net loss in 2008 globally had announced the half-a-billion dollar investment for India last year to double annual production capacity to 2 lakh units and make 2.5 lakh petrol and diesel engines.