Ford Figo Aspire to hit Indian roads by late 2015

VP says model will cover new ground in design, technology

Ford Figo Aspire to hit Indian roads by late 2015

American automobile legend Ford Motor Company has bet big on its One Ford plan, while strategising for the large Indian car market, and hopes to increase its brand presence in the country.

The global One Ford plan, whose goal is to help the company operate profitably by changing its model mix to meet market demand, focuses on leveraging its global assets, and building vehicles that people want and value. Based on this, the company plans to roll out three new models in the next 12-15 months in India.

“Ford is a mass market player. We are constantly trying to create and deliver products depending on what our customers across markets want and like. The One Ford plan allows us to specifically address this idea,” Ford India Vice President (Marketing) Raj Sarkar told Deccan Herald.

Ford India on Saturday said the first of these three products — the Ford Figo Aspire — will hit Indian roads later this year. With the Figo Aspire, Ford has covered new ground in automobile design, besides diving into a new segment. The car, a sub-four-metre compact sedan, incorporates several new technological innovations such as MyKey, which allows owners to set restricted parameters into the chip within the car key for safe driving; and the MyFord Dock, which allows drivers to store, mount and charge mobile phones, MP3 players, and satellite navigation systems, besides integrating the devices into the car’s infotainment systems.

Apart from that, the Figo Aspire will also be equipped with SYNC with AppLink — Ford’s in-car connectivity system — and a slew of safety features like the six airbags on board — a first in the segment. The car will be available in 1.2-litre petrol engine and 1.5-litre diesel engine versions.

One Ford plan

The popular compact SUV, Ford EcoSport, was the first vehicle to roll out under the One Ford plan. It set a new benchmark by opening up an all-new segment. The car is also getting exported from India.

It must be noted that Ford India reported a 4.67 per cent decline in its total sales at 11,714 units in May 2015, compared with 12,288 units during the same month, last year. But the company is confident that its new products would usher in brighter prospects.

“As regards our other two future models, we are looking across all segments (below the premium level),” Sarkar said, hinting that the models could range from an SUV, hatchback or sedan.

To put its plans in full gear, Ford India recently commissioned a $1-billion facility at Sanand, Gujarat, expected to emerge a large export facility. This facility, along with the one in Chennai, will take the company’s total production capacity to 610,000 engines and 440,000 vehicles. The Figo Aspire will be rolled out from the Sanand plant, a largely localised product, and is likely to become an export model.

Subsequently, the company is also likely to beef up its dealership network from the existing 341 sales and service centres across 186 cities.

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