If the sales figures of the last few years are anything to go by, the EcoSport comes across as being the most popular model in Ford India’s lineup. True, even the Endeavour enjoys a fan-following of sorts but its high price tag ensures that not many can put their money on the mammoth SUV. Other models in the company’s portfolio, which include Figo, Freestyle and Aspire, have been largely unpopular and are among the lowest-selling cars in the country. In fact, even if you look at the sales figures of the EcoSport, they have been steady but not exactly close to the mind-boggling sales figures of the Maruti Vitara Brezza.
From all this, one thing that’s quite clear is that the Indian subsidiary of the American carmaker giant has been going through some troubled times. However, the carmaker isn’t in a mood to give up anytime soon. Instead, it has got into a partnership with Mahindra to create a joint venture that has a value of USD 275 million. As a part of the plan, Ford India has transferred its local operations, including work force and production, to the newly formed joint venture. However, the company continues to hold the powertrain facility in Sanand, along with entities like Ford Credit, Ford Smart Mobility and Global Business Services.
Meanwhile, Mahindra and Mahindra, the popular homegrown carmaker, will introduce the second generation XUV500 early next year. The new model will be underpinned by a modern monocoque platform that will go on to form the base of an upcoming Ford C-SUV that will likely launch in late 2021 or in early 2022. The upcoming SUV has been internally codenamed as W605 by Ford and it could help the carmaker give its sales performance a much needed shot in the arm.
Thanks to a high degree of component sharing between the next-gen Mahindra XUV500 and the Ford W605 SUV, the production cost of the latter will be not too high, which, in turn, will help Ford India price the new model aggressively. That said, in spite of the high component sharing, the two SUVs will have distinct characteristics owing to different styling packages. Also, the Ford model will likely have a more driver-oriented feel to it, which is something that will further set the new model apart from the next-gen XUV500.
However, both the upcoming SUVs will share the powerplant between them. They will be powered by the 2.0-litre mStallion T-GDi turbo four-cylinder petrol engine that was showcased at the Auto Expo 2020 earlier this year. The new motor goes on to output a maximum power of 190 horsepower at 5,000 rpm and a peak torque of 380 Nm from 1,750 rpm to 4,000 rpm. Also, on offer will be a 2.0-litre turbocharged diesel engine that will offer roughly the same power output and torque figures. Both the engines will be available with manual and automatic transmission options.