Last month, we told you about a report from the Economic Times on Ford contemplating exiting India. The said report mentioned that in the worst-case scenario, the carmaker will have to wrap up most of its local operations and resort to selling just CKD products like the Endeavour and Mustang in our market. However, the same report even mentioned above a base case scenario wherein the carmaker can find an investor to support its local operations. It’s being said that in such a case, the carmaker will be ready with its Kia Seltos and Hyundai Creta-rival (B745) by 2023.
The upcoming SUV was earlier bound to be based on the Ssangyong X100-sourced platform. However, with the joint venture with the Indian carmaker called off, the B745 will likely be based on the Ford Territory. The new model, if it ever makes it to being a production reality, will be seen rubbing shoulders with a 5-seater Mahindra SUV positioned above the XUV300. It will even rival models like the Nissan Kicks other than locking horns with the South Korean hot-sellers.
Also, before the fallout with Mahindra, the Kia Seltos and Hyundai Creta-rival from Ford was speculated to source power from the 1.5-litre mStallion turbo-petrol engine that benefits from direct injection to output a maximum power of 163hp and a peak torque of 280Nm. Now, however, with Mahindra being out of the picture, Ford will have to look at its global engine range to find a suitable motor for this SUV. We won’t be surprised if the 1.5-litre diesel from the EcoSport is carried over in a re-tuned state.
There have been various reports of Ford approaching various carmakers, including Hyundai, VW-Skoda and MG Motor India for exploring possibilities of bagging a contract manufacturing deal. That said, these talks are yet to reach a positive outcome and Ford is now expected to take a decision on its local operations in a couple of months. So far, the carmaker has issued a standard response to all those who’ve inquired about this – “India is an important market for Ford, with more than 16,000 employees, as well as being a source of our global powertrains for Ranger. We are continuing to assess our capital allocations and expect to have an answer in the second half of the year. We have nothing additional to share at this point.”
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