Ford has invested over $2 billion in the Sanand plant that will commence operations on 26th March and will be exporting the Figo models overseas as well.
2015 will be a special year for Ford India with three major products set to hit the showrooms this year. With the spanking new Sanand facility all set to commence operations on 26th March, the company’s new generation Figo hatchback and sedan versions were caught testing near the plant in Left Hand Drive (LHD) guise. While the company will be producing the Figo twins for the Indian market, the Sanand plant will also be addressing the demand overseas, much like how the automaker’s Chennai facility operates.
Ford will first launch the 2015 Figo ‘Aspire’ compact sedan in the country in July this year that is set to take on the Maruti DZire, Honda Amaze, Tata Zest and the likes. While India gets the sub 4-metre versions, international markets do not have to adhere to the Indian excise duty norms and get the longer version with a full-sized boot. The Figo hatchback, on the other hand, will hit the showrooms in September and will be the same for international as well as domestic markets, with a difference of a few features.
The Ford Figo twins are powered by the heavily revised 1.2-litre TiVCT petrol engine that is said to produce around 85 PS of power; whereas the 1.5-litre TDCi diesel motor from the Fiesta/EcoSport will be available in a detuned avatar for enhanced fuel efficiency. Both the engines are fun to drive and coupled with the handling attributes of the outgoing Figo, we expect the next generation version to be a driver’s delight on a budget. Both the models will sport different interior finish, even though several parts are shared with other Ford vehicles.
Coming to production, the state-of-the-art Sanand plant in Gujarat will have an installed capacity of 2.5 lakh units on an annual basis in the first phase of operations. The first year though will see production limited to 800-900 units per day with 1.5 lakh units being manufactured over the year. Ford will also launch the new generation Endeavour this year that will be brought in via the CKD route and assembled at the automaker’s Chennai-based facility.
Source – RushLane.com