India-made Ford EcoSport heads to US
Hans India 2017-11-10 22:32:00
Hyderabad: Till now, India exported cheaper drugs and equally-inexpensive IT talent to the United States of America, the world’s biggest economy. And it’s now time to add automobiles to the list with India-made Ford EcoSport crossover heading to the shores of the Atlantic in North America.
“Ford India commenced shipping of Ford EcoSport units to the US market. In all probability, sales of the India-made urban SUV will begin in January next year,” Manoj Dadhich, General Manager – Parts and Service Marketing & Sales, said here.
However, there is a catch here. Ford is an American multinational automaker with headquarters in Detroit, the home of automotive industry in the US. The automaker taking Made-in-India vehicles to its home country is an audacious move at a time when US President Donald Trump, who rode to power with ‘America First’ slogan, has been rooting for locally-manufactured products.
Nonetheless, exporting EcoSport from India to the US has been on Ford India’s radar for quite some time. Ford unveiled India-made EcoSport for the US market in November last year ahead of Los Angeles Auto Show. That was the time when Trump as President-Elect was criticising American companies like Ford for shifting the manufacturing of small cars from the US to Mexico.
However, Ford then defended its move to import the crossover from India. Michael O'Brien, Ford’s Marketing Manager for SUVs then maintained that there was nothing wrong in selling India-made crossover in the US.
“We manufacture EcoSport at six places around the world. We sell it in 100 markets, and so, just like we make Explorers and export from here (US) into other global markets, we are going to export EcoSport from Asia Pacific, and we are going to sell it here in the US," he was quoted as saying.
But subsequent reports from the US indicated that Ford delayed sales of EcoSport there.
With Ford now going ahead with its plans of selling the crossover in the US market, the move is expected to come as major boost to India’s automotive industry simply because the United States is the world’s largest car market.
The US-bound crossover is being made at Ford’s manufacturing facility in Chennai, where the American carmaker makes most of its models for the Indian market. It is said EcoSport, which will be the smallest vehicle in Ford’s SUV lineup for US, will be equipped with all-wheel drive (AWD) feature, among others. But will it transform India as automobile manufacturing hub for the US market?
By P Madhusudhan Reddy
Tags: Ford EcoSport