After Ford and Mahindra announced that they will not go ahead with the planned joint venture earlier this year, Ford’s future model line-up was under a thick cloud. But Ford has plans and will launch numerous vehicles in the Indian market in the coming times.
Before dissolving the joint venture talks, Ford and Mahindra planned to launch several SUVs including the W601 (Mahindra XUV700)-based Ford C-SUV, which also got a codename – CX757. According to AutoCar, Ford will not drop the plans to launch the new compact SUV.
Ford plans to utilise the platform of the Territory SUV that is a seven-seater vehicle and is already on sale in the markets like China and Brazil. Ford hired Mahindra-owned Pininfarina to design its upcoming compact SUV. That deal will likely remain in place. With the use of the Ford Territory platform, Mahindra will be able to offer a vehicle that will have a big footprint as the upcoming Mahindra XUV700.
First launched in China
Ford first launched the Territory in China in 2018. Ford shares the same platform with Chinese automobile manufacturers like the Jiangling Motors Corporation or JMC. While the Mahindra-developed platform would have allowed a lower cost of investment, the platform of Territory is developed with global inputs including Ford’s Research and Development centre in Australia. So it is likely to increase the price of the vehicle. However, the Chinese market is even more cost-sensitive compared to the Indian market so we can expect some changes.
The Ford Territory’s platform offers a similar 2,716mm of wheelbase like the Mahindra’s W601. If Pininfarina had started working on the design of the upcoming Ford CX757, a similar wheelbase of the platform will allow the designers to keep the design intact.
Since it is an all-new car, there are no details on the engine front. However, Ford India is a hub for manufacturing global engines. They also manufacture the 2.0-litre EcoBlue diesel engine in India and export it to numerous international markets. The same engine also powers the Ford Endeavour in the Indian market. It is likely that some version of this very same engine may power the upcoming Ford C-SUV.
Ford may even take the 1.5-litre diesel engine and re-tune it to power the upcoming vehicle. Currently, there is no news on the engine, transmission, drivetrain of the upcoming SUV. There is also a chance that Ford will add the 48V hybrid system to the 1.5-litre diesel engine. The set-up is already on sale in the Chinese market.
Ford’s plans for India
Ford has recently launched the new EcoSport SE in the Indian market. However, the manufacturer is still missing from some of the most important segments in India, especially the mid-size SUV, which is ruled by vehicles like Hyundai Creta and newly launched Kia Seltos. Ford’s best-selling vehicle EcoSport has been around for years in the Indian market but it has lost to new, highly competitive vehicles like the Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza, Hyundai Venue, Kia Sonet and a slew of other cars in the segment.
After cutting its ties with Mahindra, Ford may develop all-new vehicles specifically for the Indian market. The brand may also choose cars from its global portfolios to launch in India. According to a report, Ford already has plans to launch cars like Focus, Focus ST, new Ford Figo, Ford Ranger Raptor and the new-generation EcoSport.