Ford India MD confirms launch of “global” Fiesta in July

Those of you who’ve been eagerly waiting for the 2011 “global” Ford Fiesta will have to wait for just another month. The 2011 new Ford Fiesta that was unveiled in April will be officially launched and reach dealerships in July.

Michael Boneham, president and managing director, Ford India, told DWS Auto on the sidelines of a Fiesta Fashion event in New Delhi that the car will be launched in the middle of the year. “We are looking to launch the car in July. We have said we are going to launch mid-year, and we just want to make sure that we get the car completely ready for our customers, as it’s a premium sedan.”

ford fiesta photo
Photo: 2011 Ford Fiesta

We tried quizzing Boneham a little more about the specifications of the global Fiesta for India, given that it’s a direct competitor to the recently launched Hyundai Verna. Says Boneham, “There are some things we still want to hold close to our chest. We have said that we’ll have a petrol and a diesel, but we can’t give out the details just yet. However, I can promise the car will have best-in-class fuel economy along with Ford’s signature great ride, drive and handling.”

In terms of positioning, we expect the Global Ford Fiesta to be priced between Rs. 7 lakh and Rs. 10 lakh, directly in Hyundai Verna territory. The car also looks quite similar in profile, with the fluidic, flowing design, ending in a high boot lid. On the interiors, the car is loaded with features like voice-activated controls for the audio system and air-conditioning, Bluetooth phone system and integrated cruise control. The driving position and dashboard layout look very futuristic. What could be a bit of a dampener is rear seat space, which is slightly cramped compared to the Hyundai Verna. The Fiesta is expected to have a 1.6 litre petrol and diesel engine, with similar or better specs than the Verna. Also read: Ford Fiesta gets 21.86 kmpl mileage in test

And then there’s also the brand identity confusion that exists because Ford continues to sell the older Ford Fiesta in India as the Fiesta Classic, after having dropped prices on the model in early April. We’ve already seen some of our readers confusing the two cars, when they enquire about the “Fiesta”.

Nigel Wark, executive director, marketing, sales and service, Ford India, told DWS Auto that Ford is attempting to set the naming convention right with newer models. Also read: Ford Fiesta Classic

Says Wark, “In the past, we’ve had different names for our models in different countries, but that can get a bit confusing. For instance, the old Fiesta was sold in India as the Ikon, and then we got the new Fiesta which is now the Fiesta Classic. But the new 2011 Fiesta that we have unveiled will be referred to as the Global Fiesta, as it’s the same car that’s sold all around the world.”

The Ikon is not the only model that was renamed specifically for India. The Figo, is based on the fourth-generation Fiesta hatchback, and has design cues taken from the Ford Ka. But this again is an India specific model. The Ford Endeavour in India is actually the Ford Everest in Thailand and other South-east Asian countries.

Ford has plans to launch up to eight new models of cars between now and 2015 and with it, they want to also ensure that their naming convention now complies with its global market focus. So the Global Ford Fiesta, that’s already on sale in China and in the U.S., will drive out on Indian roads in July.

Expect it to be a conversation starter. Fiesta? Which one?