The last made-in-India Ford EcoSport leaving the factory premises marks the end of an era as the American carmaker completely wraps up production in the country
Several Ford fans and owners were left teary-eyed as a video of Ford India employees seeing off the last car manufactured at the facility went viral. The white Ford EcoSport, which rolled off the production line a couple of days ago, today left the factory premises. With this, the local subsidiary of the American car giant completely wraps up its manufacturing operations in the country. While Ford India will continue to offer after-sales service to existing owners, many more dealers are likely to shut shop in the coming time. The sad development truly marks the end of an era!
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The popular sub-4-meter SUV made its India debut at the Auto Expo 2012 and was launched a year later. It can be credited with making the sub-4-meter SUV popular among mainstream car buyers. The EcoSport was introduced at a rather mouth-watering Rs 5.59 lakh onward, thereby taking the fight straight to entry-level sedans and premium hatchbacks on sale a decade ago. The small SUV enjoyed a free run of sorts until the advent of the Maruti Vitara Brezza in 2016.
Ford EcoSport had a wide appeal owing to its SUV body style along with well-sorted dynamics and potent engines. In fact, the sub-4-meter offering was quite revolutionary in the sense that it came with a punchy 1.0-liter turbo-petrol option, something unheard of back in the day. Add to that the ultra-responsive DCT, and the EcoSport quickly found its way to the hearts of many enthusiasts. Soon, it even became the most exported car by Ford India.
While the Brezza was quick to overtake the EcoSport on the sales charts, it continued to enjoy a huge following. This was owing to various traits such as a solid built, excellent dynamics, powerful turbo-petrol mill, and punchy diesel engine options. While the SUV continued to lose out to fresher competition, Ford came up with a rather comprehensive facelift. With the rollout of the mid-cycle update, the sub-4-meter SUV received a dose of botox and new features (even a sunroof). However, it lost the fun-to-drive 1.0-litre EcoBoost petrol engine.
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Ford India’s Chennai Facility Bids Goodbye to white export-spec EcoSport
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The white Ford EcoSport that left the Maramalainagar production facility near Chennai recently is an export-spec model that will be shipped off our shores to the USA. The American car brand announced its exit from India back in September last year. It cited below-par returns as the reason for its withdrawal from our car market. However, it said that it would continue producing export-spec cars at its local facilities. In February, though, it even considered re-entering the Indian market through the sale of high-end CBUs. Finally, in May, it took another U-turn and decided to cease local production completely.