banks on its latest offering, the Ford Fusion
the success of the Endeavour and Flair, Ford India is
planning to launch the Ford Fusion in India by December
this year. This will be the second new launch from the
company in the past two years. After the unexciting
performance of the Ford Mondeo, which is imported as
a CBU (completely-built-up) unit, the company seems
to be losing its appetite for assembling vehicles from
Ford Fusion is reported to have over 70 per cent localisation,
with parts sourced locally and engines sourced from
Hindustan Motors'' Pithampur plant. This has enabled
the company to price it more competitively in the Rs6.5
and Rs8 lakh range. Ford has been sourcing the 1.3 Rocam
and 1.6-litre engines for its Ikon Flair model from
HM also, which has enabled it to drop prices across
experts say Ford Fusion is designed to be roomy and
comfortable in keeping with its status as an SUV-cum-passenger
car. The width of the Fusion is thus a comfortable 172cm
wider than most C segment cars. Its length is about
402cm, a little shorter than the Accent and Ikon, which
are 425cm and 422.5cm long respectively.
Chevrolet Optra and Toyota Corolla at 172.5cm are longer
than the Fusion. The Honda City, likely to be Fusion''s
main competitor in India, is longer than the latter
at 431cm, but marginally narrower in width at 169cm
and shorter at 148.5cm. In terms of height, however,
the Fusion at 153.4cm is taller than all mid-sized cars,
though shorter than tallboys, Santro, (159 cm) and Wagon
R (166 cm)
Fusion was launched in Europe nearly two years ago.
Company officials say the Indian version is almost identical
to the one available in Europe with the same 1.6 litre,
16-valve petrol engine. According to them the Indian
version has been conditioned in keeping with the needs
of the Indian market.
Ford Fusion in India will come with more powerful air-conditioning,
tuned suspension, higher ground clearance and water
wading. This is keeping in mind the Indian climate and
the extensive road testing done on the vehicle on about
800,000km on all kinds of roads in India. It will also
have flexible seating arrangements to accommodate greater
number of passengers and will have great manoeuvrability.
at the popularity of diesel engines in India, Ford India
is most likely to offer a diesel engine variant soon
after it brings in the petrol version.
Fusion is likely to provide the New Honda City some
competition as it is targeted, price wise, at small
car owners wishing to upgrade to mid-size cars. The
New Honda City is positioned similarly. The company
feels that out of 18-lakh small car owners, even if
10 per cent switch over to the Fusion, the car will
sell in large numbers.
like Scorpio, Qualis and GM Tavera, positioned in the
mid-sized segment, have been successful here, as they
are rugged, have high clearance and are roomy, a combination
designed to succeed in the Indian context.
years ago David Friedman, managing director and president,
Ford India, had indicated that Ford would henceforth
bet on the ''made in India'' concept. Since then, the
company has been consistently playing the price card
by increasingly the local content in its cars.
the company is said to be planning to bring in models
from its global portfolio, which would create new segments.
Speaking to the press, Freidman had indicated a short
while ago that the company would look at segments in
the market where Ford was not participating at present
in India. He said though Ford was looking at the huge
small car market in the country, the new models it wanted
to bring in would be different from the offerings in
the market currently.