In India, the compact sedan segment is killing it. This segment is comprehensively outdoing the C1 segment that plays host to the likes of the Ford Classic, the Toyota Etios, the Mahindra Verito and the Chevrolet Sail. So, when you see car makers dumping the C1 segment for a presence in the compact sedan segment, it doesn’t come as a surprise at all.
After all, giving what the market wants is how a business gets profitable. Ford India will be doing a similar thing in the coming months, as it pulls the plug on the Classic sedan, and replace it with the 2015 Figo based compact sedan. But why is the American automaker testing the Ka+ on Indian roads? Here are some answers.
Before we get into the hows and whys of the Ka+, we’ll jump into a brief background here. The Ka+ measures 4,254 mm in length because it’s built for Brazil, a country whose government doesn’t subsidize sub-4 meter compact cars. For India though, Ford will be cutting the Ka+ sedan to size, to make for a sub-4 meter length. Now, for the reasons.
1. Research and development improves the breed. Months ago, Ford India imported the Ka+ sedan into India from Brazil, in order to test the car on roads here. The car’s underpinnings have many things common with the 2015 Figo based compact sedan. The car that has been spotted on test is from the lot that has been imported into India. Why, it even features the 1.5 liter Ti-VCT petrol motor, a complete no-no on a sub-4 meter offering. And a car being spotted on Indian roads doesn’t necessarily have to hit the market here.
Spyshots of the 2015 Ford Figo twins testing in India
2. The export market is where the money is. While the sub-4 meter sedan class is big in India, car buyers in other emerging markets want their sedans with full-size boots. As Ford will soon begin manufacturing the 2015 Figo hatchback and compact sedan at the spanking new Sanand factory, the Ka+ is expected to be an export-only addition to the production line, a car that is aimed at bringing in export revenues from markets in Africa and the Middle East.
Engine details of 2015 Figo
Spyshot courtesy Team-BHP