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by Matt Brogan

Following exclusive spy pics from CarAdvice back in July, comes news today that Ford president and CEO, Mr Alan Mulally, has unveiled the company’s latest light car – the new Ford Figo.

The Figo, Italian for “cool”, marks an important strategic move for Ford in India with the fresh faced sub-light hatch sure to prove popular not only in the domestic market, but as an export vehicle as well.

Set to challenge rivals from Hyundai and Tata, the Ford Figo represents a $500 million investment in Ford’s plant near Chennai which will see a two-fold increase in production, up to 200,000 units, all thanks to the production of the new car.

That investment also sees the plant receive major advances in high-quality automation, and innovative, eco-friendly production techniques.

“Our exciting new Ford Figo shows how serious we are about India,” Mr Mulally said. “It reflects our commitment to compete with great products in all segments of this car market. We are confident the Ford Figo will be a product that Indian consumers really want and value.”

Ford Figo is designed and engineered to compete in India’s small car segment, which accounts for more than 70 per cent of the new vehicle market. It leverages Ford’s small-car platform architecture, sharing underlying technology with the Ford Fiesta, already familiar to Indian drivers.

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.

From its modern headlamps, grille shapes and sculpted bonnet of its distinctive face to the subtle integrated spoiler and chamfered window shape at the rear, Ford Figo is filled with kinetic design touches.

These also include sculpted shapes to the body side – chiseled front fenders, a “comet tail” undercut in the doors and additional light-catching sculpting in the lower bodyside – which combine to communicate the solidity, substance and protective safety of its design.

The bold graphic of Ford Figo’s large side window shape is another key kinetic design feature hinting at the comfort and spaciousness awaiting occupants’ front and rear. The side window graphic is executed with a blacked-out B-pillar, an elegant design touch that unifies the side windows into one shape visually.

Ford Figo

With its wheels positioned at the four corners of the vehicle with minimal overhang, Ford Figo’s bold wheel arches self-assuredly signal its agility and solidity.

“We’re confident that the new Ford Figo will be extremely attractive to Indian car buyers,” said Mr Michael Boneham, president and managing director, Ford India.

“It’s going to be very competitive with the current market leaders and offer a tremendous value story for our consumers. We believe Ford Figo is a big game-changer for Ford that will help transform our brand into a volume player in India.”

Ford will announce engine, specification and pricing figures closer to Figos production launch early in 2010.

With Ford US




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