Prices of the facelifted Ford Fiesta sedan have been bumped up in India, by up to 90,000 rupees. If you’re thinking that the roll back of the excise duty cut is the reason for Ford India effecting the sizeable price increase, there’s more to what meets the eye. Ford has outdone every other C-Segment sedan maker in India, while increasing the prices of the Fiesta Facelift. While similar cars such as the Honda City and the Maruti Suzuki Ciaz have seen price increases to the tune of 30,000-50,000 rupees, the Fiesta has outdone them all. Now, why has Ford increased prices so sharply? Here are a few possible reasons.
1. Better margins is the most simplistic explanation. Last year, Ford launched the facelifted Fiesta sedan, in diesel-only trim, at very competitive pricing. Yet, the car failed to take off at the hustings. In India, very few cars have actually managed to comeback after initial pricing fiascos. In the Ford C-Segment sedan’s case, the facelift has been a case of too little, too late, despite how well the makeover turned out. Meanwhile, the automaker isn’t really channeling its marketing energies towards the Fiesta, which continues to have a long waiting period, and with few dealers interested in selling it. Currently, the car is mainly bought by driving enthusiasts, who make up for minuscule numbers. With the price bump up, the car will now bring in better margins for Ford, whose marketing department may feel that enthusiasts who actually like the car will buy it, price jack up notwithstanding.
2. Petrol variants of the Fiesta could be in the works. Although Ford produces and sells the Fiesta Facelift in limited numbers, the car maker does have an interesting array of engines for the car. The sedan, which shares its platform with the EcoSport crossover, also shares its engines with the latter in markets abroad. Considering the diesel price deregulation and the spike in demand for petrol powered cars in India, a 1 liter EcoBoost turbo petrol engined EcoSport makes eminent sense for the Fiesta sedan, especially considering its positioning as a car meant for the enthusiast brigade. Since Ford already offers this engine in the EcoSport and the Euro-spec Fiesta, shoehorning one in the India-spec sedan will be straight forward.
3. The 2015 Figo compact sedan is coming. Although a sub-4 meter offering designed to take advantage of excise duty norms in India, the Figo CS could also have a more powerful version powered by the 1.5 liter Ti-VCT petrol motor. The larger petrol engine will result in a pricey car, with the Figo CS falling in the 12 % excise duty bracket. This could result in some overlap of the top-end Figo compact sedan models with the Fiesta’s base variants. The latest price hike of the Fiesta could have to do with Ford prepping up the arena for the compact sedan’s launch, eliminating situations where cannibalization could take place.
Should you buy the Fiesta Facelift after the price hike?
A quick price analysis reveals that the facelifted Fiesta Diesel, after the large price increase, has lost its value pricing edge, when compared to other C-Segment sedans sold here. For instance, the car’s top end Titanium variant, at 10.19 lakh rupees ex-showroom Delhi, is now pricier than the likes of the Skoda Rapid Elegance MT, The Volkswagen Vento Highline Diesel and the Fiat Linea 1.3 Emotion. We’re not even bringing the Honda City and the Maruti Suzuki Ciaz into the picture as those cars are larger, and aimed at buyers with different priorities. If driving dynamics matter to you, along with a solid build and ravishing looks, the Ford sedan is still a compelling option, albeit with its price advantage significantly blunted.