During the ground breaking ceremony of Ford’s new assembly plant at Hangzhou, China yesterday, Dave Schoch, CEO, Ford China, told the media that they’re planning for a China specific small car that would be priced below their current cheapest offering, the Fiesta.
The Fiesta retails in China at a starting price of $13300/- (around Rs. 7.3 lakhs).
The new small car might also lead to a sedan variant as many Chinese, just like us, prefer sedans over hatchbacks. The new B car will be launched by 2015. Schoch says it’ll lock horns with the Chevrolet Sail.
Schoch is most likely referring to the production version of the Ford Start Concept that was showcased in 2010 in China. The vehicle is rumored to hint at the next the generation Ford Ka that will go global, and replace the regionalized Ka models in South America and Europe. Ford does a Scala with the Ka in Europe - it is a reskinned Fiat 500, manufactured by Fiat in its plant in Poland.
Ford's business strategy centers around building cars on global platforms and selling them all over the world. The new small car's main rival is revealed to be the Chevy Sail (the second best selling car in China) which will be here soon in both sedan and hatchback avatars and it’s only logical for the new Ford to follow suit.
Ford’s Asia Pacific chief Joe Hinrichs stated that the new car will be benefited from the company’s lessons, learnt during the development of Figo. But he also said that the Figo, being a Right hand drive platform, can neither share its platform with the new product nor will it be sold in China.
In India, it could be positioned above the Figo, while the sedan can allow the Classic to hang up its boots. Being a new platform, we are sure Ford is busy wielding it with SYNC, MyFord Touch, Powershift, Ecoboost, etc.