Ford India saw a massive jump in its exports and profits since the production of the EcoSport began at its Chennai plant with the compact SUV being exported to Europe and the Indian demand at its peak. The production of the EcoSport also saw the company utilise its plant more efficiently. With reports suggesting Ford to launch the EcoSport in the US, it would have been a great opportunity for Ford India to export the compact SUV from the country and break-even faster. However, the Indian plant may have lost the opportunity to its Thailand counterpart for exporting the compact SUV to the States.
Ford is looking forward to its Thailand plant for supplying around 55,000-70,000 units of the facelifted EcoSport that is expected to be launched in the first half of 2016 in the North American market inclusive of the US and Canada. While India is certainly an important export hub for Ford, the added export opportunity would have resulted in complete use of the installed production capacity. However, Ford also wants to make better utilisation of its Thai plant, which caters to that specific market. Moreover, the noise, vibration and harshness levels of products made in Thailand are better than those made in India and are crucial factors when selling vehicles in markets like North America.
Nonetheless, not all is lost for Ford India. While the Chennai plant may not be exporting the EcoSport to the North American market, the company still has to adhere to its commitment of exporting the compact SUV to 50 other countries, while also sustaining the demand in the domestic market. Ford only recently commenced bookings of the EcoSport once again, with the waiting period still extending to 6 months for certain variants. The Chennai plant is also being spruced up to work round the clock to meet the rising demand of the SUV.
Working in conjunction with its vendors for supplies, Ford plans to take the production capacity of the plant to two lakh units per year. This would help the company quench the demand in the domestic market first, while also shipping more units overseas. The last fiscal year saw the automaker produce 1.6 lakh units, with 1.19 lakh units alone were of the EcoSport. The compact SUV has also helped the Blue Oval increase its market share which was a measly 3 percent in 2012, while offering improved financial stability.