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The US automobile giant Ford Motor Co proposes to launch its small car for the Indian market by 2010 and will set up a new unit soon to manufacture engines, top officials said on Thursday.

“Small car segment holds 75 per cent in Indian market and when we launch the small car that’s when the real volumes will come in,” Ford India managing director and president Michael Boneham told media at the launch of the company’s new car.

He also said Ford’s new engine manufacturing facility will be set up in 2009-10 with a capacity of 250,000 units per year. “The plant will fulfill the entire domestic demand and will also cater to the needs for ford in the Asia Pacific region.”

The company also launched a new sports variant of the mid-sized sedan here Thursday – the Fiesta S that clocks 0-100 km in 11 seconds. Also launched was an upgraded SXI variant of the Fiesta featuring new front grille and head lamps.

Boneham said the company has now increased the warranty for all its cars to two years or 40,000 km to two years or 100,000 km, whichever was logged first.

Fiesta SXI will be priced at Rs.700,000 and Rs.814,000 for the petrol and the diesel variants, respectively, in Delhi. Fiesta S will come with a price tag of Rs.715,000.

Boneham said that the mid-sized sedan, since its launch in the country two-and-a-half years ago, and has sold more than 65,000 units.

The company, however, had a 19 per cent fall in sales during 2007-08, which he attributed to the sluggish Indian auto industry in the last financial year.

Source – ET