Should Fiesta Classic replace the stone-age Ikon?

Kaustubh

Kaustubh Shinde,

They say sooner or later your passion finds you. Sometime in late 2009, I started writing for IAB and ever since then it has been a roller coaster ride for me. An amazing experience that has taught me a lot, taken me to new places, driven some great cars and met some amazing people. When you don’t find me on IAB (very rarely), you will find me either at a coffee shop or an eatery or at the nearest gadget store.

Hope you enjoy IAB as much as we do!

We have been keenly following the development of the Euro Fiesta for the Indian Market. We have got an exclusive video just for you about the Fiesta being tested on Chennai roads. There is no doubt about the fact that the Euro Fiesta is all set to scorch the Indian streets very soon. Clearly, we are waiting for the new launch with bated breath.

Ford might preview the Fiesta sedan in the following months by inviting a group of select journalist just like they did for the Figo back in 2009. We’re expecting Ford to launch the sedan first and the hatch might follow soon.

The Euro Fiesta sedan will replace the current Fiesta, and the current Fiesta might be renamed Fiesta ‘Classic,’ Autocar India is reporting.

It is good to know that the current Fiesta will continue leading its life and will be sold in Indian market because of the simple fact that we LOVE the Fiesta. If you want a driver’s car that has some exquisite handling skills and is very frugal when it comes to fuel consumption, really the Fiesta is your best bet. We generally don’t encourage manufactures to continue the aging models side by side their new cousins but we will make an exception in this case.

Ford Fiesta Classic India

This brings us to the price of the Fiesta Classic. Clearly, it has to be positioned below the New Fiesta. But the new Fiesta has to be aggressively priced in the first place because it has to take on the heavy weights like Maruti SX4 diesel, Honda City, Volkswagen Vento and the upcoming Nissan Sunny.

And ‘aggressive pricing’ concept has worked for Ford in past with the Figo. So we are sure that Ford has learnt its lesson.

Now here is a food for thought. What if the Fiesta steps down from its current category and replaces the Ikon?

We all know that the Ikon was always a dying franchise and the facelift hasn’t really helped matters. Over the last quarter, the Ikon’s performance has been rather disappointing.

• October 2010: 301 units
• November 2010: 715 units
• December 2010: 657 units

And this doesn’t mean that the segment itself is dying because the arch rival Tata Indigo, in the same period, never came below 5000 units. The Fiesta, on the other hand, is consistently churning out thousand something units in these past months. Thus, it is definitely a ‘better accepted’ product than the Ikon.

Now, I know that the Fiesta will have to drop nearly 3 lakhs of its current price tag to enter the Ikon’s territory which is a bit unimaginable. But the Fiesta has lived its entire product cycle. And with the introduction of the Euro Fiesta, the old Fiesta will certainly shed its sales numbers gradually because a customer will prefer a new technology and new design over the older one.

So instead of gradually throttling an old but ‘good’ car to death, why not change its segment and give a further boost in the sales figures. Plus, Ford in the recent past was selling the Fiesta for a sub 6 lakhs price in some offers. Definitely, the costing (if done right) can get the car in the entry-level sedan segment.

Ford could look at localizing the Fiesta to the maximum possible extent using the Figo’s supplier base. Given the Fiesta Classic and Figo share a shed load of components, the transition to locally made components need not be a tough one.

And when it enters that segment what does it have to fight against? An Indigo, Aveo, Accent (executive)? These are no match for the mighty Fiesta. The only serious contender will be Maruti’s Swift Dzire.

But what does it mean for us petrolheads? Finally, a driver-centric in our budget. Ford will certainly rule the roost!

What do you think? Would this be a wise move by Ford India? We want to hear your comments below

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