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Ford refuses to react to rumors of EcoSport, Ka production at Craiova, Romania plant

Ford Motor Company refused to comment on speculations that it will add production of the EcoSport SUV and the Ka minicar to its underused Craiova plant in Romania. Accordingly, the car maker is planning to build the EcoSport for Europe in the said factory.

Presently, Ford imports the EcoSport from India for European distributors. The Ka is also reportedly being considered for production at Craiova. Currently, Ford is in an industrial tie-up with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) to create the Ka at the latter's factory in Tychy, Poland together with the Fiat 500, Ka's platform sibling.

The production of Ka in FCA's Tychy plant will end by April. Ford is offering a new Ka, which is inspired by Ford's global B platform underpinning the Fiesta subcompact, in India and Brazil. It is produced in Chennai, India together with the EcoSport. Ford Europe President Jim Farley declined to comment on the matter, saying that "nothing new" is to be revealed.

Read the entire article Ford refuses to react to rumors of EcoSport, Ka production at Craiova, Romania plant

Active variant of 2018 Ford Ka+ comes with crossover-like features

At the upcoming 2018 Geneva Motor Show next month, we won’t be seeing the all new Ford Focus. But there’s something else there that we’re sure you’ll want to see for yourself. The automaker’s entry level model in Europe, the Ka+, is currently going through some physical changes. Sources say that it will also come with an Active version, like that of the Fiesta Active that came out last year.

The pseudo crossover is more than just what’s apparent on the exterior. It has got a new plastic body cladding, and its suspension has been raised by about +23 millimeters / 0.9 inches. It now has a wider track as well as larger front anti roll bars.

The automaker also decided that they will tweak the electronic power steering as well, therefore making the Ford Ka+ Active feel more like a crossover when being taken out for a ride. Dampers had been retuned as well, enabling a smoother ride when driving on bumpy roads, while the new Active Rollover Prevention system has an updated security, for when you strap your luggage on the roof.

Read the entire article Active variant of 2018 Ford Ka+ comes with crossover-like features

2018 Ford EcoSport released to North American market

Customers who want a vehicle that offers the same capability as an SUV while having space-saving features are in for a treat as Ford revealed it will be releasing to North America its newest EcoSport. And for the first time ever, the brand will be officially unveiling it through Snapchat. There will then be a pop-up event in Hollywood. The new EcoSPort from Ford not only offers a fun experience but also comes with a number of connectivity features.

Specifically, this latest offering from Ford is fitted with the brand’s very own entertainment and communications system -- the SYNC 3. Because this system is easy to use in addition to being intuitive, staying connected with family and friends is simpler. The system allows for voice recognition that is more conversational while improving vehicle response to the commands of the driver. Further, the SYNC 3 is optimized to allow hands-free use as it has been paired to a touch screen, the same ones found in tablets or smartphones.

Much like other models, the new EcoSport comes with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay and the addition of an 8-inch screen allow those sitting in the front to better manage these. It also allows the easy operation of the B&O PLAY audio settings. Through the SYNC Connect with FordPass, drivers will now be able to locate their EcoSports no matter where they may be.

Read the entire article 2018 Ford EcoSport released to North American market

Enough supply could make Ecosport Ford’s best-seller in Europe

The EcoSport small SUV could become one of Ford’s best-selling vehicles in Europe if the carmaker could get enough supply from India, Ford of Europe chief operating officer Barb Samardzich told Automotive News Europe. Around 30,000 EcoSports will be shipped to Europe from this year, but the demand for the small SUV is expected to outstrip the supply.

Samardzich said that the volume of the EcoSport would grow over time as Ford expands the range with more powertrain and trim options. Ford is expecting the Ecosport to help its bottom line as SUVs are not as heavily discounted in Europe. According to Samardzich, Ford expects very aggressive pricing on its existing models while new vehicles by its rivals are also aggressively positioned.

She said that since SUVs of all sizes are in demand, carmakers could sell them at a good price level. She added that growing demand for SUVs is placing extra price pressure on mainstream models of the same size. She noted that SUVs like the Kuga needed lighter discounts than mainstream models like the Focus.

Read the entire article Enough supply could make Ecosport Ford’s best-seller in Europe

Ford Motor Co.’s compact and subcompact crossovers like the Escape/Kuga and EcoSport were the main drivers for the carmaker’s growth in the global market, disclosed Ford marketing chief Jim Farley. Farley said that their global No. 1 vehicle was the Escape/Kuga, followed by the EcoSport. “Together they had about half-million-unit growth for us,” he said.

He disclosed that global sales of the Escape/Kuga compact twins and the EcoSport subcompact both surged by over 200,000 units last year. Farley remarked that the F series was a distant third. According to him, consumer’s shift to crossovers is one of the most significant global trends, and it was attributable to consumers outside North America.

Farley believes Ford is well positioned to take advantage of this shift. “Something is really changing in our industry, and it’s not just one market but everywhere.” He noted that when it comes to body styles, “crossovers and utilities are becoming the dominant silhouette.”

Read the entire article Ford says Escape and EcoSport were main global growth drivers

Ford Motor Co. has started producing the all-new Ford EcoSport urban sports utility vehicle at its state-of-the-art Ford Thailand Manufacturing (FTM) plant in Rayong. FTM is the fourth plant globally to produce the EcoSport, following Ford sites in Chennai, India, Chonqing, China and Camcari, Brazil. The site also boosts the strategic role of Thailand as a volume production and export hub in the ASEAN region, as the models are intended for domestic sale and export to markets in southeast Asia.

Ford is planning to sell the all-new EcoSport in 100 markets around the world. “The all-new EcoSport continues our ongoing product-led transformation by providing customers with another segment-leading vehicle to our growing Ford showroom across our ASEAN markets,” said Matt Bradley, president of Ford ASEAN. “Produced at our highly flexible Ford Thailand Manufacturing facility, it is the next proof point in our continued growth strategy in the region,” he added.

Ford places the EcoSport as an aspirational alternative to the compact car as it has room enough for five adults and their gear. Because of the marriage of versatility and smart connectivity, EcoSport is able to meet the needs and requirements of an urban lifestyle. It boasts of a high driving position and rugged capability as well as superior fuel economy.

Read the entire article Ford starts production of EcoSport in Thailand facility

As you may know already, Ford unveiled the Ka Concept back in November. Today, the carmaker announced that it will introduce a new Ka minicar in Europe in 2015 and that it will be based on the concept car that was unveiled in Brazil. This new five-door model will replace the three-door Ka that went on sale in Europe back in 2008.

Still, the Ford Ka minicar will not be the only model launched. Ford also announced that as part of its plans to use parent Ford Motor Co.’s global model portfolio to return to profit by 2015, will also launch the new Mustang, Edge large SUV as well as the EcoSport subcompact SUV. According to Ford, the new Ka will be smaller and less expensive than the current Fiesta.

The Ford Ka concept version is based on company’s global B platform that is used also by the Fiesta. “Despite the challenging market conditions, Ford continues to heavily invest in new products in Europe to position the company for success in the future,” Ford of Europe CEO Stephen Odell said.

Read the entire article Ford will introduce a new Ka minicar in Europe in 2015

Ford has unveiled the Ka Concept in Brazil, saying that it will be the carmaker’s first global entrant in the sub-B small car segment. Ford executives want the Ka to help grow the carmaker’s market share in developing markets around the world. The carmaker aims for the five-passenger Ka small hatchback to tail after the EcoSport subcompact crossover that Ford introduced in 2012 and is already available in many developing markets.

Joe Hinrichs, Ford's president of the Americas, remarked that the Ka Concept is "one of the most important product programs in the company in the last few years." It is part of Ford’s goal to tap into emerging markets in South America and South Asia that are expected to boost the growth of the subcompact segment to 6.2 million vehicles globally by 2017.

The subcompact vehicle market is expected to increase by 35 percent between 2012 and 2017. It is expected that South America and South Asia will account for 44 percent of the global subcompact market.  Ford believes that the Ka Concept can help it increase its current 9.5 percent market share in Brazil, which is its third-largest market.

Read the entire article Ford plans to sell the new Ka in Europe

Ford’s all-new Ka Concept is a sleek, compact hatchback that visualizes a new alternative for entry-level urban consumers not just in Brazil, but also in other key markets globally.

Boasting a bold design, quality engineering, as well as groundbreaking technologies, the Ford Ka Concept would allow Ford to expand its current compact car portfolio. After all, once put into production, it could well position the carmaker to further cater to the global demand for sub-B compact vehicles, a segment expected to grow to around 6.2 million vehicles by 2017. With an expected surge of 35 percent from 2012 to 2017, Ford Ka Concept would outgrow the auto industry by 12 percentage points, mainly thanks to heavy demand from urban consumers in a number of developing countries.

Considered as a concept that would eventually lead to an all-new global compact car from Ford, the American carmaker may introduce the production version of the Ford Ka Concept as soon as 2014. Ford designed and developed the Ford Ka Concept to offer a number of features typically found in more expensive vehicles. Aside from this, the Ford Ka Concept offers a spacious interior that could accommodate up to five people. It also offers class-leading air conditioning. Aside from leading its class in terms of fuel economy, the Ford Ka Concept offers an array of practical technologies like a central docking station for mobile devices and Ford SYNC. All of these features are expected to appeal to customers looking for a compact car with more robust package of features but with an attainable price.

Read the entire article Ford Ka Concept previews a new sub-B compact vehicle

Ford has unveiled through Facebook a limited edition of its Fiesta-based EcoSport crossover. The carmaker will build only 500 EcoSport limited editions, with 120 units allotted for United Kingdom. Interested buyers could now order the limited edition crossover through Facebook, with reports suggesting stocks are selling out fast.

The EcoSport limited edition carries a starting price of £16,995 and is available with either a 123bhp 1.0-litre EcoBoost engine or a 90bhp 1.5-litre diesel powerplant.

The limited edition EcoSport features an expanded version of Ford's Sync AppLink infotainment system, which boasts of new apps and functionality. The system features the Autoread program -- available on iOS and android devices – that reads out emails and text messages and enables users to dictate replies using the vehicle’s voice-recognition service.

Read the entire article Ford EcoSport Limited Edition now available via Facebook

Although small city cars are popular it appears that the Ford Ka has an uncertain future, according to a Ford senior marketing executive. Despite the fact that Ford Ka sales continue to go down, the American manufacturer is not advertising the small car, which is considered a stand-alone vehicle. Back in 2012, Ford sold 59,112 units, while sales through April are down 27 percent to 18,824 units.

For those folks who don’t know, the Ford Ka was launched in 2008 as a replacement for the first-generation Ka, and it is based on the Fiat 500. Moreover, the Ford Ka is built at Fiat's factory in Tychy, Poland, which recently rolled off the 1 millionth Fiat 500. Ford of Europe design head Martin Smith told Autocar that the Ka produces absolutely no profit.

Moreover, the small car doesn’t fit into the company's global One Ford strategy due to the fact that it won’t pass a crash test in the United States as it was designed to suit European tastes. Despite this, no facelifts are planned. Elena Cortesi, Ford of Europe's director of social media, believes that Ka sales are still healthy.

Read the entire article Ford might kill of the Ka city car

The Ford EcoSport is a small utility, according to FoMoCo and was designed for emerging markets such as India and Brazil where there are plenty of scooters and small cars. Based on the Ford Fiesta, the EcoSport might also arrive in the United States as executives are hinting this.

According to Jim Farley a.k.a. global boss of sales, marketing, service and Lincoln, the company is studying very closely the issue.

Same Farley added that the sales of crossover grown 35 percent since 2005 and crossovers are on of the biggest trends.

Read the entire article Ford EcoSport might be sold in the United States

Ford Sollers, a joint venture of between Ford Motor Co. and Sollers OJSC, will start producing the Ford EcoSport in Russia in 2014, according to Ford officials. Ford Europe chief Stephen Odell remarked that the the Russian market will be the largest in Europe in the coming years and represents an important growth opportunity.

Production of the Ford EcoSport will start at one of the Ford Sollers’ two sites in Tatarstan in the second half of 2014, considered a timely move as demand for sports utility vehicle continues to grow in Russia. According to Ted Cannis, head of the Ford Sollers, the EcoSport will allow Ford to cater to consumers who seek small SUVs, noting that only a few carmakers are competing in segment.

He noted other carmakers import their SUVs to Russia, resulting to higher prices, adding that building the EcoSport in Russia allows Ford to sell the vehicle at a lower price. He remarked that Ford’s decision to build the small SUV in Russia would result to a “massive success.”Ford Sollers also runs vehicle assembly sites in Naberezhnye Chelny in Tatarstan and in Vsevolozhsk near St. Petersburg.

Read the entire article Ford Sollers to start building Ford EcoSport in Russia in 2014

Ford isn’t expecting its EcoSport subcompact SUV to reach very high sales in Europe since the model was conceptualized to target emerging markets. The European EcoSport presented at the Geneva Auto Show has the same powerful format as the original car that Ford’s design team undertook in South America. It even has the rear-mounted spare wheel.

Martin Smith, executive design director for Ford of Europe, said that this was intended to have a “rugged” look since most of the regions where it will be sold, such as in South America and India, will need a tough vehicle. Smith and the other design directors didn’t want to stray from Ford's global design principles but they decided to prioritize what buyers in emerging markets demanded.

For example, those who lived in countries with many bad roads wanted to have a spare wheel. Since it can’t be accommodated inside the vehicle, Ford decided to attach it on the rear, similar to how the traditional off-roaders did it. Consumers in Europe can have it removed it but the fastenings will stay visible. They also can’t cancel having the spare wheel.

Read the entire article Ford doesn’t expect impressive sales of the EcoSport in Europe

Ford has unveiled the European production version of the all-new EcoSport sports utility vehicle at the ongoing Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain. The EcoSport SUV will be equipped with Ford SYNC voice-activated in-car connectivity system and SYNC Emergency Assistance. The EcoSport SUV will also be one of the first Ford models in Europe to offer Ford SYNC AppLink, which allows drivers to voice-control smartphone apps.

The EcoSport will be the second SUV to be rolled out in the carmaker’s expanding European range when it was made available by the end of 2013, behind the Ford Kuga.

The EcoSport is built on Ford’s global small car platform, enabling it to deliver the agility and fuel efficiency of a small family car while exhibiting the flexibility, roominess and high driving position attributes of an SUV. Ford SYNC with Emergency Assistance directly links the driver and passengers to local emergency services operators after an accident, in the correct language for the region using information from the vehicle’s on-board GPS unit.

Read the entire article Ford unveils European version of EcoSport at Mobile World Congress

Ford unveiled the all-new EcoSport Concept at the 2012 New Dehli Auto Show in India and honestly to tell you it made quite a buzz. As expected, the new EcoSport is actually a thinly disguised future production model as Ford needs some feedback in order to know if the car will be a success. The new EcoSport Concept will replace the first-generation EcoSport model launched back in 2004 and will use the same B-segment architecture seen on the Fiesta and the B-Max.

As you can see from the photos, the new EcoSport carries the new design philosophy seen on the 2013 Ford Escape, and this means that we can see a larger lower grille as well as a rounded ‘nose’.

If the previous EcoSport model was sold only in South and Central American markets this is about to change as the new EcoSport will be sold in select markets in Asia, including both India and Thailand. Still, the new Ford EcoSport could also be sold in select European markets.

Read the entire article Ford EcoSport Concept breaks cover at the 2012 New Dehli Auto Show

Ford will introduce the Ka Grand Prix limited edition on the Dutch market and will give this vehicle a touch of the motorsport world. The differences between the limited edition model and its regular production version may not be that obvious at a glance. The limited edition features a single offset racing stripe that runs the length of the car.

Buyers can choose to have the body painted in either Sunrise with Chrystal White accents or Chrystal White with Sunrise accents.

The racing Ka has also been fitted with 16-inch alloy wheels with wide 195/45 R16 tires, large rear spoiler, extra dark Privacy Glass and fog lamps, and contrasting grille and side mirrors. It has a more luxurious interior. Ford covered the steering wheel and the seats in leather and colored the handbrake grip and gear knob in Sunrise Grand Prix.

Read the entire article Ford will launch Ka Grand Prix Limited Edition in Netherlands

Ford revealed today at the Paris Motor Show its new Ka custom model available in three different and original packages especially built for the new version of Ka. Three different kits inspired on different themes, with special designs for both interior and exterior are translated in the Ka Digital, Ka Grand Prix and Ka Tattoo. 

The Digital Ka has a fresh look featuring patterned body stripes and green grille surround at the exterior. At the interior the car gets seats featuring patterned inserts with green headrests, green door panels, door pulls, steering wheel ad rings around the air vents.

The Grand Prix kit features at the exterior the same patterned body stripes with solid color grille surround and door mirror cappings which can be combined with a rear spoiler and white alloy wheels.

Read the entire article Ford Custom Ka sees light in Paris