Ford India’s commitment to the Indian market got a major boost with the recent inauguration of their new billion dollar plant at Sanand in Gujarat but an increase in market share will be possible only when they expand their product portfolio. Apart from the upcoming Figo Aspire compact sedan and the next-gen Figo, taking the next step forward, Ford India is planning to invest further Rs 4,000 to Rs 5,000 crores to build a new Research and Development centre in Chennai. Right, but what’s so exciting about it? The first product coming as a by-product of this Indian R&D centre will be a new mid-sized sedan which is expected to be placed against the likes of the Honda city, Maruti Ciaz and Hyundai Verna!
As per the folks at Economic Times, the company is planning to make an official announcement about the new R&D centre in the second half of the year. The new sedan, which as per the report is codenamed as B500, can be expected to hit the roads by the year 2018 which means that, till then you will have to satiate yourself with the diesel only Fiesta that is available in the Indian market now. Hopefully by the time B500 comes, Ford India will have moved over to the EcoBoost platform.
The new centre will not just be helping in designing the car but is also expected to be playing a key role in its mechanics. It will also be integrated into the company’s Global Product Development Ecosystem which will allow it to share inputs on its global product portfolio.
Ford might also later on use the B500 platform to convert it to an MPV which will mark their entry into this fast-growing segment.