Ford India while announcing successful increase in the engine plant capacity in India on 17th July 2012 at Chennai, also revealed some important information about the much awaited Ford EcoSport compact SUV for India. The Ford EcoSport which is lined up for early 2013 launch in India will be launched with both petrol and diesel engine options, however the officials restrained from revealing the engines specifications for the EcoSport. As per our guess EcoSport will get the 1 litre Ford EcoBoost engine in the petrol option and it may get 1.5 litre Duratorq engine from Fiesta, but the diesel engine maybe a lower displacement engine also, so we will wait and watch some more official information to arrive on this.
Ford EcoSport will also be exported from India to other countries including some Asian and African markets from India after Indian launch next year. The export volumes will depend on the demand for EcoSport in India and the production capacity of the EcoSport. Ford has recently launched EcoSport in Brazil at a price between Rs. 14.60 Lakhs to 17.40 Lakhs when converted to Indian currency. Don’t be shocked at these prices as Indian models will be very different in terms of features, pricing and is also speculated to be under 4 meter in length which makes it fall in the small car segment and hence the excise benefits may apply to the EcoSport. The car is already under tests in India and has been spotted numerous times on Indian roads, so we expect to hear some more details on the EcoSport soon.
The engine production capacity of Ford India Chennai plant has been increased by 36% per annum to 3,40,000 engines per year which is a considerable increase and will help Ford India meet the increased demand for Diesel engine cars. Also this increased capacity is flexible with the same assembly line capable of producing both petrol and diesel engines on the same line. This gives Ford India a huge flexibility to alter its diesel to petrol engine ratio at the engine plant based on the demand for the petrol and diesel cars in the market. Also Ford India will be exporting 40% of these engines from India to countries like Thailand, South Africa and Taiwan to start with. This makes Ford India first the only car maker to export its engines out to other countries.
The engine plant in Chennai produces 12 different Duratec petrol engines and 5 different Duratorq diesel engines which is a huge variety to be built at the same plant. Ford India also rolled out its 400,000th engine from the plant on 17th July 2012 which is under 4 years from the start of its operations in India. Some other unique achievements of Ford Chennai engine plant includes:
- Ford Chennai Engine plant has the lowest water consumption among all Ford plants worldwide
- It uses vegetable-based cutting coolant for machining: An environment-friendly oil
- Chennai plant has been awarded Ford’s technical excellence award (TMM) for four consecutive years
On this milestone achievement, Gary Johnson, vice president, Manufacturing, Ford Asia Pacific and Africa quoted:
“Ford is currently building seven new plants across Asia Pacific and Africa, and we are making a significant commitment in India, which will see it become a regional hub for low-displacement engine production.”
Further to this, the upcoming Gujarat plant of Ford India which is expected to go operation by 2014 will further make the total annual engine capacity to 6,10,000 engines per annum.
We will keep you posted on the details of Ford EcoSport, do stay tuned to Car Blog India for latest updates.
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