In an attempt to make its imminent EcoSport SUV cheaper for Indians, Ford will manufacture 1.0-liter gasoline engine locally, said the company on Friday.
"We will initially import the engines [from Europe], but will in future manufacture them locally," Sriram Padmanabhan, vice president for marketing at Ford's India unit, told The Wall Street Journal.
Ford India hopes to revamp the declining car sales in India with its soon-to-be-launched EcoSport. The company had earlier assured that the car will not be affected by the hike in excise duty which was proposed in the Union Budget. By manufacturing the engines locally, the company can reduce 30 percent import tax of engines.
Meanwhile, recent reports suggested that the compact SUV, which had a soft launch on 15 March in Mumbai, will arrive in India officially in June. The car has been speculated for launch in India quite some time. The delay of its launch has raised disappointment among consumers.
"After completion of the campaign, the company will formally launch EcoSport in the Indian market. Most probably by June end it will be launched," a source close to the company told Press trust of India.
For India, the EcoSport SUV will come with a 1-litre EcoBoost petrol engine which is expected to give 120bhp power, or the 1.5L diesel engine which would offer 90bhp. The petrol EcoBoost EcoSport is expected to deliver a mileage of 17 kilometres per litre. The earlier rumours suggested that the petrol variants of the SUV are likely to be priced between ₹5.99 lakh and ₹6.25 lakh, and the diesel models from ₹6.99 lakh to ₹7.25 lakh.
The car will make its debut in China on 19 March. The manufacturing of the EcoSport SUV for China will be taken up by the Chang'an-Ford joint venture at the Chongqing plant. The vehicle is expected to be priced between 94.800 yuan and 129.800 yuan in China.