Ford intends to have a bigger presence in India, and their efforts should be helped with its $500 million investment and the fact that their Figo subcompact was recently named the 2011 Indian Car of the Year.
The Figo is built in Chennai and went on sale back in March. Based on an older generation of the Fiesta, the bodywork may look aged; but it’s a new entry to the developing Indian auto market.
An 11-person panel judged the 2011 Indian Car of the Year, eventually naming the Figo as the ultimate winner.
“We knew Ford had a potential winner on its hands even as we lined up the contenders,” said Srinivas Krishnan, Business Standard Motoring editor and ICOTY 2011 chairman. “The Figo’s crisp driving dynamics, two fuel-efficient engine options, cheerful styling and interiors and, of course, its terrific pricing, simply propelled it to the top of the honours list. It’s only appropriate that the Figo has won the Indian Car of the Year 2011 award, because Ford engineered the car specifically to cater to the needs of the Indian market.”
Using the elder Fiesta as the Figo’s base significantly helps with affordability. The two engine choices are a 70-horsepower, 1.2-liter inline-four and a 68-horsepower, 1.4-liter diesel four-cylinder. Pricing starts at 354,930 Indian rupees ($7800) for the gasser and 454,030 rupees ($10,050) for a diesel-powered model. And these aren’t barebones cars either, because amenities include Bluetooth and iPod connectivity.
Since its introduction, Ford has sold over 60,000 Figos. The Blue Oval intends to target at least 70 percent of the Indian market with its latest form of affordable transportation.
Ford also plans to sell the Figo in Nepal, South Africa, and 48 other global markets.