Ford India is competing with Ford Thailand to bag the order for exporting the EcoSport compact SUV to the North American market and is conducting the preliminary tendering process to source components.
This is probably for the first time that a US manufacturer will be exporting a made-in-India car to its home market. Ford India though will be doing exactly that once it starts shipping the EcoSport compact SUV to the US with sales to commence in the American market from October 2017. The Mustang maker’s Indian arm has also commenced the preliminary tendering process to source components for the US market and will be exporting the facelifted version of the compact SUV that will go on sale in the country possibly later this year or next year.
Ford India has put in a quotation to ship 90,000 units a year of the EcoSport, which is more than the compact SUV’s total sales in the country. Produced at the auto giant’s facility near Chennai, the EcoSport is a popular offering in domestic and overseas markets (save for Europe) and is exported to 62 countries globally. In a recent interview, the automaker had stated that it is the fit, finish and quality of parts that needs to meet the expectations of consumers, irrespective of where the vehicle is manufactured.
That said, while Ford India is working hard to meet the American market’s demand, the biggest threat comes from Ford Thailand that too is competing for the same order. As part of its global restructuring plans, exports from the Asian market were part of the company’s agenda right from the start. While the project seemed to have been in Ford Thailand’s kitty until last year, the American automaker is now considering its Indian base as well.
If Ford India does bag the tender for exporting the EcoSport from its Chennai facility, the higher utilization of the plant will help reduce the production cost per car, making the entire operation profitable. Thanks to strong demand from domestic and overseas markets, the Chennai based facility will primarily cater to producing the EcoSport with a small assembly line for the new generation Endeavour and the Fiesta sedan. The company’s other models will be produced at its new state-of-the-art facility in Sanand, Gujarat.
Source – EconomicTimes.com