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.
The Brazil-made Ka Concept is smaller and less costly than a Ford Fiesta. It also features a premium look and low price point. Ford first introduced the Ka in Europe in 1996 as a three-door hatchback developed for driving in the region compact city centers.
The original Ka was produced at the carmaker’s Valencia site in Spain with the second generation built at a factory in Tychy, Poland. Ford has not disclosed if the Ka Concept will go into production. It also has not said where it might be sold, but it may sell in Europe the five-door Ka. [source: automotive news - sub. required]