Continued global growth is one of the keys to continued success for Ford, as is evidenced with the unveiling of the all-new Ford Figo at a press event in Delhi. The Figo is a major addition to the Ford India brand portfolio, and Alan Mulally, Ford President and CEO, was on hand to underscore the strategic importance of India in Ford’s future plans.
Even though the car will not be available in the U.S. because of regulatory and market differences, it is an important part of the Ford story. It signals Ford’s intention to compete in India’s largest and most important small-car market segment and growth throughout global markets. India’s small car segment accounts for more than 70 percent of the new-vehicle market. The Figo leverages Ford’s small-car platform architecture, sharing underlying technology with the Ford Fiesta, already familiar to Indian drivers.
The press conference in Delhi was the first public preview of the exterior design of the new Ford Figo. Sharing key elements of Ford’s kinetic design language with vehicles like the globally renowned Ford Focus, Ford Mondeo and the Ford Fiesta, Ford Figo features a fresh, contemporary shape that will be a distinctive alternative to traditional brands in this segment. The design language conveys a dynamic spirit of energy in motion.
Design-conscious Italy inspired the new Ford Figo’s name. Figo is colloquial Italian for “cool.”
Ford is reserving further details about the vehicle until closer to its production launch, early in 2010.
New Ford Regional Production Center
The introduction of the new Ford Figo marks a significant shift for India’s role in Ford’s strategy. Ford’s $500 million investment has doubled the plant’s production capacity to 200,000 units per year and introduces major advances in high-quality automation and innovative, eco-friendly production techniques.
Ford Figo models will be produced at the plant for export to international markets. The plant is also being groomed to produce diesel and petrol engines for local vehicle production and export within Ford’s Asia Pacific and Africa regions.
With more automation and new high-tech facilities, the new site reflects the latest Ford manufacturing processes globally and pioneers new technologies for Ford and India. Created with a “best of the best” approach, it has been benchmarked against other competitive facilities globally, as well as the current volume manufacturers in the Indian market, for quality and production efficiency.
The transformed plant introduces eco-friendly production techniques such as its new Three-Wet High-Solids paint process. This approach produces beautifully painted vehicles with three wet coats – primer, base coat and clear coat – of high solids-content paint applied one after the other without oven curing between coats. A first for India, it produces fewer carbon dioxide emissions and reduces volatile organic compounds emissions by about 20 percent compared to current medium-solids solvent-borne paints. Use of high-solids content results in a paint finish with high levels of gloss and depth of color which is more resistant to scratches and stone chips.