US auto major Ford on Wednesday launched its much-awaited compact sports utility vehicle EcoSport in India with price starting at Rs 5.59 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi).
The model will be available with three engine options of 1 litre petrol with Ecoboost technology, 1.5 litre petrol and 1.5 litre diesel engine.
While the price of 1 litre Ecoboost petrol version starts at Rs 7.90 lakh, the 1.5 litre petrol variant will be tagged at Rs 5.59 lakh.
The EcoSport with 1.5 litre diesel will have price starting at Rs 6.69 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi).
The company said the automatic transmission version in 1.5 litre petrol will start at Rs 8.45 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi).
The company's wholly-owned subsidiary, Ford India is betting big on the new compact sports utility vehicle, which is the second generation version of the model that was developed in Brazil and first launched in South America in 2003.
"We expect EcoSport to be a game changer for Ford in India and also set a benchmark in the Indian auto industry," company's President and Managing Director Joginder Singh said.
The EcoSport will take on Renault's best-selling SUV Duster which is priced at a range of Rs 7.99 lakh to Rs 12.18 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi). It will also be in the same segment as Mahindra Quanto, which is available at a price of Rs 5.99 lakh to Rs 7.75 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi).
The company has already started taking bookings of the vehicle and deliveries will start from Wednesday, Singh said.
Ford India has invested USD 142 million at its Chennai plant to manufacture the EcoSport.
The model was showcased at the 2012 Auto Expo here in the Capital and the company had then said that it would sell the new SUV in around 100 markets worldwide and it would be produced at plants in India and Brazil initially.
The company had stated that the EcoSport would play a significant role in its aggressive global plan to achieve a 50 per cent increase in worldwide sales by mid-decade to eight million vehicles a year. The Asia Pacific and Africa regions were expected to contribute 60-70 per cent to that target.
Already Ford India has put in plans to export the EcoSport to about 40 countries, which will start within few months of its launch in the domestic market.
Ford India is investing USD 1 billion to set up its second production facility at Sanand that will be operational by 2014. The plant will have an installed output capacity of 2.4 lakh vehicles and 2.7 lakh engines annually.
With completion of the Sanand plant in Gujarat, Ford India will have a total installed capacity of rolling out 4.4 lakh vehicles and 6.1 lakh engines every year.