American carmaker Ford was started 115 years ago in 1903 by Henry Ford. Ford first came to India in 1926 but left the country in 1954. The company re-entered the Indian market in 1995 in a joint venture with Mahindra as Mahindra Ford India Limited. Less than three years later Ford became the majority owner of the venture and renamed the company Ford India Private Limited. In the 23 years since its return to India in October 1995, Ford has launched quite a few vehicles in the Indian market. While some have done well, others have now been forgotten. In this post, we take a look at 5 forgotten cars from Ford India.
The Escort was the first car that Ford bought to the Indian car market when it returned in 1995. The large Escort sedan was in production from 1996 to 2001 and was offered with a 1.6-litre petrol engine and a 1.6-litre diesel motor. The Escort was offered with a number of features included power steering, powered front windows and ORVMs, air conditioning and a music system. The Ford Escort offered ample room in the rear along with a large boot.
The Ford Fusion was the first-ever crossover launched in the car market. Launched in 2004, the Fusion remained in production till 2010. Ford offered the Fusion with three engine options – 1.4-litre petrol and diesel and a larger 1.6-litre petrol. The Fusion was regarded as extremely practical and was a good fit with large Indian families. However, its hatchback styling meant that only enthusiasts went for the crossover and those interested in SUVs and that sort of styling stayed away. The Fusion is quite a rare sight on Indian roads today.
Ford Fiesta S
The Ford Fiesta S was a special variant of the Fiesta sedan that the American carmaker launched in India. The Fiesta S took the regular sedan’s good handling characteristics and took them to a whole new level. The Fiesta S featured a body kit, a new colour and a better suspension setup. The 1.6-litre from the regular car remained unchanged though but that was fine for most drivers as it produced 100 Bhp and 145 Nm of torque. The Fiesta S sold in limited numbers and seeing one on the roads today is quite rare.
Ford Fiesta facelift
In 2014, Ford updated the looks of the Fiesta sedan to match its new corporate design. The facelifted sedan featured an Aston Martin-inspired front grille, sleek angular headlights and a redesigned tail more in line with the Fiesta sold abroad. The Fiesta was powered by a 1.5-litre turbo diesel engine with 89 Bhp and 209 Nm of torque and offered brilliant handling characteristics that made enthusiasts grin from ear to ear. However, with the Honda City reigning supreme in the segment, the facelifted Fiesta didn’t gain the traction it should have in the sales department.
The Ford Mondeo was the American carmaker’s answer to the BMW 3 Series, Mercedes C-Class and the Audi A4. Launched in India in 2004, the Mondeo marks the only that Ford decided to enter our nation’s luxury car market. The Mondeo was powered by two engines -a petrol and a diesel – both of which displaced 2.0-litres. The petrol engine produced 142 Bhp while the diesel had 128 Bhp available for the driver’s right foot. However, a rather big price tag meant that many buyers kept away from the Mondeo. The Ford Mondeo was discontinued in 2006.