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The new platform (Code: B563) is intended to spawn a premium hatchback, positioned above the Figo and will rival Hyundai’s i20 and Suzuki’s Baleno. The company will then introduce a mid-size sedan to take on the Aspire and rival the Honda City.
“The Fiesta (B299 platform) was essentially a car made for Europe and the cost structure was too high for India and that made it unviable. The B563 platform allows us to be far more cost efficient which is the key to competitive pricing in India,” says a Ford official.
The B563 won’t hit showrooms anytime soon however, both will make their way here only by 2020 or later. These cars will also be designed to meet stricter future emission regulations. Ford will manufacture its ‘Dragon’ family of small displacement petrol engines in India itself to power the cars that are sold here. The Dragon engine family hasn’t been launched yet – it will make its global debut soon.
The B563 platform is not a grounds-up, all-new architecture, it’s an upgraded version of the current B562 platform that underpins the Figo and Aspire. The company’s current plan is to comprehensively refresh the Figo and Aspire and drop them to a segment lower to avoid overlap. Ford in India currently needs new products to boost its market share here, which currently hovers around the 3 percent mark.