Betting big on the growing compact SUV market in India, US auto maker Ford on Tuesday said its forthcoming 'Ford Ecosport' would have 80 percent local content that would be available in both petrol and diesel variants.
Early this year at the Auto Expo held in New Delhi, Ford India unveiled its ambitious plans to foray into the compact SUV segment with the launch of 'Ecosport', which is slated to hit the market early 2013.
"It will be our second Global SUV Ecosport (to be rolled out from India). It will have around similar localization levels of Figo and Classic...," Ford India President and Managing Director Michael Boneham told reporters in Chennai.
The company has a manufacturing unit at Maraimalai Nagar near Chennai and has set up its second plant at Sanand in Gujarat as part of its plans to have eight new products by 2015.
According to company officials, Ford Figo and Classic variants currently have about 80 percent localization with most of components supplied by local manufacturers.
"We are still negotiating to have 80 percent localization for Ecosport," Boneham said.
Boneham, who earlier launched the 4,00,000th engine from its powertrain facility, said, "We will launch Ecosport with an Ecoboost engine that will take it to the whole new level of standards...".
"Already Ecosport has got tremendous reaction from the social networking (web)sites," he said.
Asked whether reported sacking of about 440 employees by Ford Australia would have an impact in India, Boneham said, "I have not read about those reports. But I have heard some reduction going on there. But our focus will be on India and we do not export to Australia at this point of time."
On their future plans, Boneham indicated that they would be launching an upgraded version of its highly popular hatchback "Figo" in future.
"We have news on Figo in near future. I think, you will see an improved performance of Figo...," he said, declining to reveal further.
Ford India in June registered a 21.20 percent decline in total sales at 7,281 units. The company had sold 9,228 units in the same month last year.