After yesterday’s announcement (9th) of the closure of Ford’s plants in India, the breaking EcoSport had its future affected. This is because the compact SUV was about to gain a new facelift for the Indian market, which would certainly reach other markets to which it is exported shortly after, such as Argentina and the United States.
Sold since 2013 in India, the EcoSport was the one who pulled the line of compact SUVs in the Indian market – 10 years after Brazil, where the SUV was also the first to explore this segment that is so disputed around the world today. Returning to the Asian country, the success of EcoSport there was also due to the tax benefits that the government grants to vehicles less than 4 meters long, a characteristic in which the compact SUV fit very well.
In summary, the EcoSport was undoubtedly one of the important pillars for Ford’s operations in India, not only for its good performance there, but also because of its exports, as it turned out to be one of the first compact SUVs produced in India that has been marketed in several European countries.
The bad news of the shutdown of the operation of factories in India is that the facelift scheduled for EcoSport, which even had units found running in final tests in the Asian country, should be canceled according to the website Autocar India. If it was released, this restyled model would be the second since the utility went on sale in the country.
Expected facelift so far for Ford Ecosport in India
The restyled EcoSport would have changes focused more on the front, where the units spotted displayed a new front grille, which abandoned the hexagonal shape. It remains very wide and has a chrome edge, and is distinguished by a second black edge in the small space between the air intake and the headlights, apart from the dotted finish in place of the horizontal bars. The DRL lights would have an inverted “L” shape, as in Territory.
And as the compact SUV units produced at the Chennai plant are exported to the United States, it will go out of production in Uncle Sam’s land in 2022 – when the last units will be assembled in India. It is worth remembering that the model has been sold since 2018 in the North American market, where it has never been a sales success.
The lack of public interest in the SUV in the US is defined by the US News & World Report website, saying that “The Ford EcoSport 2021 does not compare favorably with most vehicles in the subcompact SUV segment (ranking in USA). It suffers from its low-horsepower base engine, difficult handling and a limited offering of advanced safety features, which is why it ranks near the end of the segment.”
Some analysts specializing in the industry gave an interview to the website of the Detroit Free Press newspaper and commented on the end of the line for EcoSport, which was already highly anticipated there. Maeva Ribas, manager of design research and strategy at The Carlab Inc, said “Ecosport was never really suited to the American consumer.” The manager of the automotive product planning consulting firm added: “Ford is just correcting a mistake. Ecosport does not belong to the United States”.
Finally, John McElroy, presenter of the “Autoline After Hours” podcast and webcast, said EcoSport never really caught on in the US, but was surprised by Ford’s decision to take it out of line. “I thought it would be a hit. Small crossovers have been a really competitive segment, but maybe they shouldn’t be so small,” referring to the dimensions of the EcoSport. “They (the consumers) may see it as a potential competitor to Maverick, which is like a crossover, but with a bucket.”
With the launch of the new Ford Maverick unibody pickup in the United States and its initial success in that market, the Ford EcoSport ended up making no sense there, as the pickup is still larger and cheaper than the compact SUV. With Ford ceasing to produce the EcoSport in India, where it is imported from, there will probably be no effort by the blue oval brand to make up for the space it leaves, which is apparently being very well occupied by Maverick.
Now it remains to be seen if the EcoSport facelift will be abandoned only in India or if it will be used in another country. What is known so far is that the SUV will continue to roll off the assembly line at a factory in Romania, and that there are no intentions to stop its production and supply to Europe, said Said Deep, Ford’s US communications director to the newspaper. .
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