We caught up with Ford India's managing director Joginder Singh on the sidelines of the Ford EcoSport's unveiling in New Delhi and asked him about the production volume estimates, booking commencement and tentative prices of the EcoSport.
Ford India is not ready today to announce these details, but we get a sense that the car will be launched in late May or in June. Here's what Singh had to say to some of the FAQ's of the EcoSport.
Q: What are the differences between the European and Indian EcoSport?
A: We will make products for exports which are for the export markets. So we will have the flexibility to produce the EcoSport not just for the Indian market but also for the international markets. Our specs (shown at the mall) are for the Indian market.
Q: What is the installed capacity for the EcoSport at the Chennai plant?
A: See, nowadays factories are flexible. We will be able to produce different body styles on the same line, so its very difficult to say for this particular body style what is the capacity as we have the flexibility to change. And the plant that's coming up in Sanand similarly we have a very high level of flexibility, both for body styles as well as for engines, in petrol and diesel.
But I can tell you that after Sanand becomes operational the combined Chennai & Sanand capacity will be 4,40,000 vehicles and 6,10,000 engines annually. Both plants will be export hubs.
Q: Have you started trial production of the EcoSport? When will the bookings commence?
A: Yeah, absolutely (trial production). After the Urban Discoveries campaign is over then will move on to the next phase of the launch which will be to start talking about bookings and the pricing and so on. As we do, all the parallel processes will start converging , but I can tell you that we'll have the 100 cars (winners of Urban Discoveries contest) with us for customers in May built from the Chennai plant.
Q: In how many cities will you conduct the mall activation in?
A: We will do it in 12 cities (It is learned that the vehicle in Delhi will be moved out after this weekend).
Q: What are the preparations at the dealer level you have undertaken for the launch of this car?
A: That's one of the parallel processes. We have to train the dealer personnel, we have to be ready. What is good is that all parallel processes are happening as we speak. And at the culmination of the Urban Discoveries campaign, it should come together.
Q: Will the bookings start after May?
A: Well you see the Urban Discoveries campaign is staring in May and these are task-oriented experiences. So whether it takes one week or four weeks I don't know that. It is real world with real people. We want to give it justice and we want to do it right and we want the real world customers to tell us their real world experiences and it will be in real time. This is an exhibition of confidence. These people will be writing their experiences and I'll read it in my office at the same time as you will be reading it in your office. We think that's the most credible way, the best testimonial you can have for a product.