Earlier this month, Ford Japan announced that it will sell the Ford EcoSport in the local market from the second half of 2014 .
Developed on the Fiesta's chassis, the EcoSport globally launched in Brazil and China in 2012. For Japan, the local media expects the 1-liter Ecoboost turbo petrol engine and the 1.5-liter naturally aspirated petrol engine to serve the urban SUV.
In Asia, the EcoSport is manufactured in China, India and Thailand. While the Chinese production would only address the local demand, it would be Chennai or Rayong exporting the car to the island nation which does not have a Ford production or assembly plant.
Ford's Chennai plant has put 21 percent of the cars produced on to ships, and therefore it is likely that a Japanese-spec variant can also get produced here. Ford Thailand has also started exports, and had sent out the first shipment to Indonesia, where the model launched this month.
Ford plans expanding its lineup by 7 models in Japan, with the Fiesta (launch on Feb 2) at the starting gate. The company is looking for new customers through a good model mix and currently has the Fiesta, Focus, Mustang, Kuga and the Explorer on sale.
Though prices stay unconfirmed, the Nissan Juke, Honda Vezel, Renault Captur and the Peugeot 2008 would be the main rivals in the domestic market.