Inside Line reports that Ford is yet to make a decision on the future of the Ka hatchback.
The Ka is the smallest member of the Ford family, and its availability is restricted to Europe.
In fact the Ford Ka has the soul of a Fiat. Based on the Fiat 500, redesigned body panels and cabin distinguish it from the iconic Italian city car. Fiat manufactures the Ford Ka at the 500's manufacturing plant in Tychy, Poland. It was launched in 2008, and yeah, it is powered by the 1.3L Fiat Multi-jet engine that pretends to be a Duratorq unit.
According to the Inside Line report there are two routes Ford can consider to get the third generation Ka on the road -
- Use the same Fiat 500 platform, with revisions, and renew the manufacturing contract with Fiat for another generation.
- Use a lighter version of the B-Platform and build it from scratch.
The first option leaves Ford with the benefit of cost savings. Since the production lines are shared with Fiat, it saves them time and money. However, the second generation Ka which is on this route has not changed things for Ford. Its not as successful as the first generation model, which, in a facelifted avatar, continues to pile up numbers in South America.
The second option allows greater control over the destiny of the Ka, but it will also mean that Ford has to burn extra cash since development or manufacturing costs cannot be shared with another manufacturer.
The decision on the which core platform hardware to use on the next generation Ka will be taken next year.
Ford is working on a new small car under the Fiesta hatch for emerging markets at its technical center in China. The Blue Oval isn't ready to reveal more details on this car, but back in early 2010, it showed a precursor to a compact car by unveiling the 'Start' concept.
If the Ford Ka and the lower-B emerging market hatchback are different products based on different underpinnings, will Ford brand the latter as the new Figo? Ford took the regional brand 'EcoSport' and made it a global product. Could a similar strategy unfold with the Figo on its new mini car?