Earlier today, Ford inaugurated its second manufacturing facility in India, at Sanand, Gujarat. The inauguration ceremony saw a bevy of heavyweights from the automaker, and the polity of the state. Ford CEO Mark Fields and Gujarat Chief Minister Anandiben Patel together, inaugurated the spanking new factory, amid loud cheering from the young, enthusiastic workforce of the factory.
The new Ford plant in India will cater to both domestic and export demand, even as the automaker has envisaged a 3 fold increase in its exports. This growth in exports will be in tune with the Indian government’s thrust on local manufacturing under the “Make in India” program. A surprise announcement from the car maker is what will matter to you, the car buyer.
Ford’s Mark Fields unveiled the car maker’s latest offering for India, the Figo Aspire compact sedan. First shown as a concept ahead of the 2014 Indian Auto Expo, the production version of this car was showcased to the world today. The car is likely to be launched in June 2015, at a price that could rivals such as the Maruti Suzuki Dzire, Tata Zest, the Hyundai Xcent and the Honda Amaze a run for their monies.
Based on a modified version of the previous generation Fiesta platform and adhering to the American automaker’s One Ford manufacturing philosophy, the 2015 Figo Aspire will be initially offered with two engines – 1.2 liter Ti-VCT petrol and 1.5 liter TDCI turbo diesel units. 5 speed manual transmissions will drive the front wheels of the car. The car is a sub-4 meter vehicle designed specifically for the Indian market.
In terms of interiors, the car gets a completely new dashboard and other bits and bobs. A beige theme on the inside is expected to be offered to buyers, delivering a sense of premiumness and spaciousness. The Figo Aspire will also gain the latest iteration of the SYNC infotainment interface, in keeping with the smartphone driven car buyer of today. Enthusiasts will also have something to cheer.
With a few months of the expected June 2015 launch, the 2015 Figo Aspire is likely to gain a 1.5 liter Ti-VCT petrol engine borrowed from the EcoSport crossover. This engine will be paired with a 6 speed PowerShift twin clutch automatic transmission. Together, this engine-gearbox combination is expected to make the Figo Aspire the hottest compact sedan in the country, and one that is the spiritual successor of the high performance Classic 1.6 sedan.