Ford enters Indian small car segment with Figo launch

US carmaker Ford today entered the highly competitive Indian small car market with its offering, the 'Figo', and expects to gain a significant market share. The company plans to launch one product every 12-18 months across various segments.

The much-awaited global small car Figo is priced at Rs3.5-4.48 lakh and is set to take on the likes of Maruti Swift, Hyundai i20 and the newly launched Polo from Volkswagen.

The small car market in India is dominated by Maruti Suzuki with a 55 per cent share. Ford managed to sell just around 30,000 units in 2009. The small car segment comprises 70 per cent of the 1.22 million units passenger car market.

"You need more entries into the small car segment. We will continue to focus on that segment," Ford India managing director Michael Boneham told reporters in New Delhi. He said that Ford was looking to launching new vehicles in every 12-18 months.

While Figo marks a serious bid on the part of Ford to enter the small car segment it also has plans to bring in products from its latest global car platform'B' which will be used to roll out ''next generation'' products.

Ford India executive director (marketing, sales and service) Nigel Wark said that for years Ford had been seen offering only premium priced products in India, which had kept it limited to operating in only 20 per cent of the market.