Ford announced its plans to import its EcoSport compact crossover for the European market from India.
The EcoSport, which was unveiled today at the Geneva Auto Show, will be manufactured in Ford’s plant in Chennai, India, according to Stephen Odell, chief of Ford of Europe. The model will be launched in the European market in late 2013. Ford relies on the EcoSport to help the company hold its market share in Europe, where sales continue to decrease. The automaker plans to sell 1 million SUVs on the continent by 2017.
“I’ve seen competitive models, some winning European car awards, launched at extremely high discounts,” Odell said. “There’s clearly more margin in some segments than in others, which is why we think our new products enable us to get better retail share, which means better margins,” he added.
As the crossover segment enjoys better profit margins in Europe compared with other models, it will help Ford’s bottom line in the following years. The EcoSport competes with Nissan’s Juke. Importing the EcoSport from India is part of Ford’s restructuring plan, which also includes closing a major plant in Genk, Belgium and two smaller plants in Britain.