Ford India has just issued a recall for the diesel variants of EcoSport, Figo, Aspire and Freestyle. The recall is meant to check and replace emission control equipment on these cars. During the recall, Ford India’s dealerships across the country will fit new catalytic converter and O2 sensors on the EcoSport, Figo, Aspire and Freestyle Diesels. The ECU will also be remapped. These changes are meant to make these cars fully compliant with BS6 emission norms. Ford India will also check these cars for an oil-life issue. Owners of the BS6 diesel powered EcoSport, Figo, Aspire and Freestyle are advised to get in touch with their nearest Ford dealers for this recall.
All four cars mentioned above feature the same 1.5 liter-4 cylinder turbocharged diesel engine that puts out 100 Bhp of peak power and 215 Nm of peak torque. Known for its excellent drivability, this diesel engine has been Ford India’s mainstay. Just ahead of the Bharat Stage 6 (BS6) emission norms coming into place during 2020, Ford India made this diesel engine BS6 compliant. A punchy yet fuel efficient unit, this diesel engine has powered most Ford cars sold in the Indian market. A 5 speed manual gearbox was offered as standard with this engine. Now though, Ford has quit the Indian market, and only service centers of the American automaker remain operational in the country.
Ford India was to make a comeback with an all-electric line-up of vehicles but that plan has also been scrapped. We expect Ford dealers to start winding down service center operations in the coming years. Ford car owners are also likely to let go of their vehicles as service support dwindles. Already, wait times for specific parts for Ford cars are getting longer. This situation is expected to worsen over time.
Ford is not the only automaker to quit the Indian market in recent years. General Motors also quit the Indian market recently, in similar fashion. While General Motors’ service centers continue to remain functional in bigger Indian cities, smaller towns have seen service centers disappear. Owners of Chevrolet badged cars now have to visit the bigger cities for service related matters. A similar story is likely to play out with Ford as well.
Meanwhile, Ford India has sold its Sanand factory to Tata Motors. Tata Motors is expected to use this factory to build electric vehicles. The future of Ford’s other Indian factory – in Maramalainagar off Chennai – remains uncertain. The last car rolled out of this factory last week. It was a Ford EcoSport meant for export markets.