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On the Ford Figo -
It will be Ford's game changer, the first car to put them in the heart of the Indian car buying market. It will also be a chance for Ford to offer a world class product at that price band.
On the name -
Figo in Italian means fun. I feel it comes from the famous "Go Fida" tagline given to the Fiesta.
On the price -
No one commented on the price. They said it would be priced competitively. After speaking to the other journalists at the event, I expect the entry level variant at around 3.50 lakh rupees.
On the variants -
They did not say a word. They blacked out the windows and windshields of the display vehicles and it was tough to get a good look at the interiors to know the equipment.
On the countries it will go to -
It will travel to a host of markets around the world. Although the top brass did not share information regarding this, I suspect Europe, Australia and Latin America are on the list.
On the engine options -
A 1.2-liter petrol and 1.5-liter diesel engines are expected. Nigel E Wark, Executive Director of Marketing, Sales and Service of Ford India said more engine options will be announced in the future.
On the future of this model -
This will be Ford's Global B platform that will give rise to a series of vehicles. Nothing specific was discussed but common sense dictates there will be a sedan, MPV and commercial vehicles for local and international customers.
|DELHI, India, Sept. 23, 2009 – India’s role as an important player in the future of Ford Motor Company’s international strategy was underscored today when the company’s President and CEO, Alan Mulally, unveiled an all-new car targeting the heart of the Indian car market – the new Ford Figo.
The Ford Figo, a new nameplate and a fresh face on the Indian market, signals Ford’s intention to compete in India’s largest and most important small car market segment.
Ford Figo is the result of a significant Ford investment commitment to expand its plant near Chennai for volume production as a small-car centre of excellence regionally. Ford’s $500 million investment has doubled the plant’s production capacity to 200,000 units per year and introduces major advances in high-quality automation and innovative, eco-friendly production techniques.
“Our exciting new Ford Figo shows how serious we are about India,” Mulally said. “It reflects our commitment to compete with great products in all segments of this car market. We are confident the Ford Figo will be a product that Indian consumers really want and value.”
Ford Figo is designed and engineered to compete in India’s small car segment, which accounts for more than 70 percent of the new vehicle market. It leverages Ford’s small-car platform architecture, sharing underlying technology with the Ford Fiesta, already familiar to Indian drivers.
New Shape, Solid Foundation
Design-conscious Italy inspired the new Ford Figo’s name. Figo is colloquial Italian for “cool.”
Sharing key elements of Ford’s kinetic design language with vehicles like the globally renowned Ford Focus, Ford Mondeo and the Ford Fiesta, Ford Figo features a fresh, contemporary shape that will be a distinctive alternative to traditional brands in this segment. The design language conveys a dynamic spirit of energy in motion.
From its modern headlamps, grille shapes and sculpted bonnet of its distinctive face to the subtle integrated spoiler and chamfered window shape at the rear, Ford Figo is filled with kinetic design touches. These also include sculpted shapes to the body side – chiseled front fenders, a “comet tail” undercut in the doors and additional light-catching sculpting in the lower bodyside – which combine to communicate the solidity, substance and protective safety of its design.
The bold graphic of Ford Figo’s large side window shape is another key kinetic design feature hinting at the comfort and spaciousness awaiting occupants’ front and rear. The side window graphic is executed with a blacked-out B-pillar, an elegant design touch that unifies the side windows into one shape visually.
With its wheels positioned at the four corners of the vehicle with minimal overhang, Ford Figo’s bold wheel arches self-assuredly signal its agility and solidity.
“We’re confident that the new Ford Figo will be extremely attractive to Indian car buyers,” said Michael Boneham, president and managing director, Ford India. “It’s going to be very competitive with the current market leaders and offer a tremendous value story for our consumers. We believe Ford Figo is a big game-changer for Ford that will help transform our brand into a volume player in India.”
New Ford Regional Production Centre
Ford Figo models will be produced at the plant for export to international markets. The plant is also being groomed to produce diesel and petrol engines for local vehicle production and export within Ford’s Asia Pacific and Africa region.
With more automation and high-tech new facilities, the new site reflects the latest Ford manufacturing processes globally and pioneers new technologies for Ford and India. Created with a “best of the best” approach, it has been benchmarked against other competitive facilities globally, as well as the current volume manufacturers in the Indian market, for quality and production efficiency.
The transformed plant introduces eco-friendly production techniques like its new Three-Wet High-Solids paint process. This approach produces beautifully painted vehicles with three wet coats – primer, base coat and clear coat – of high solids-content paint applied one after the other without oven curing between coats. A first for India, it produces fewer carbon dioxide emissions and reduces volatile organic compounds emissions by about 20 percent compared to current medium-solids solvent-borne paints. Use of high-solids content results in a paint finish with high levels of gloss and depth of colour which is more resistant to scratches and stone chips.