an attempt to fill the premium slot in the Ikon family,
Ford India has launched a new variant: Ikon NXT SXi.
the model ''sxier'', Ford India managing director and
president David Friedman says the new variant is the
top of the line model in its family, loaded with several
in three colours (oyster, panther black and silverstone)
and two power-train options (1.6-petrol and 1.8-diesel
engines), the new variant comes with 14" alloy
wheel, chrome grill, chrome exhaust trim, chrome-deck
lid handle and monochromatic sporty front bumper with
interiors sport a luxurious leather and fabric synchronised
seats and contemporary truffle premium velour trim and
chrome on door handle, gearshift knob and parking brake
lever that add style.
other features are power locks, power steering, power
windows, dual exterior mirrors, front-courtesy lamps
with theatre dimming and dual reading lamps.
Delhi, Chennai and Bangalore the petrol version is priced
at around Rs 6.45 lakh and the diesel, Rs 7.05 lakh.
In Mumbai, the petrol model is priced at around Rs.6.76
lakh and the diesel engine version costs Rs 7.39 lakh.
India vice-president (external affairs) and director
(sales operations) Vijay Piparsania says the company
has sold 100 Mondeo premium cars till June this year.
"And we have exported 14,500 Ikons in completely-knocked
down position till June. The company exports to South
America, South Africa, Mexico and China. Last year we
exported 27,500 units."
100-year-old parent, Ford Motor Company, meanwhile,
has earned just $3 million pre-tax in its automotive
operations in the second quarter ended 30 June 2003,
although its pre-tax earnings totalled $718 million
overall, including the relatively strong contribution
of its financial services operations.
rating agency Standard & Poor''s (S&P) had expressed
concerns about the adequacy of Ford Motor''s turnaround
efforts amid cyclical weakening of demand in the US
and Western Europe and a largely secular intensification
of price competition.
light of these industry factors (plus the risks stemming
from Ford Motor''s ongoing launch of its new pickup truck
and the re-negotiation of its principal labour contract
with the United Auto Workers), S&P believes it is
still uncertain whether Ford Motor will be able to break
even in its automotive operations on a full-year basis
in 2003, which has been a key assumption in its BBB/Negative/A-2
pre-tax automotive earnings totalled $659 million in
the quarter ended 31 March 2003, a significant loss
is expected in the seasonally weak third quarter, S&P
says. The rating agency will monitor Ford Motor''s operating
and financial performance in the near term to determine
whether maintenance of the rating is warranted.