American carmaker Ford is developing a new platform for India and other developing markets which is expected to underpin off a range of new vehicles.
According to Autocar, the new platform codenamed B563 will cater to the premium hatchback and mid-size sedan segment with the first vehicle based on the platform set to be a rival for the Maruti Baleno which will be placed above the Ford Figo.
The new premium hatchback will be followed by a new mid-sized segment sedan that will replace the Fiesta which was discontinued in the Indian market in 2015. The new sedan will take on the Maruti Ciaz and the Honda City.
Autocar further states that the new car will be powered by Ford's state of the art Dragon range of petrol engines which will make their global debut in India later this year. While the Dragon engines will be able to meet with stricter Real Driving Emissions testing cycle that will come into effect in 2023, the same cannot be said of Ford's 1.5-litre diesel engine which is may get phased out.
The new B563 platform is based on the current B562 platform that underpins the Figo and the Aspire which will help Ford keep costs down. To ensure that the overlapping between the new platform and the B562 platform on which it is based, Ford will reposition the Figo and the Aspire to a segment below their current placement in the Indian market which is expected to occur after an extensive facelift.
Ford's plans to rival the Baleno and re-enter the midsize sedan segment is a positive sign for fans of the Blue Oval in India though we do wish the Americans can be faster in bringing the new cars onto Indian roads. The new vehicles will also hopefully help Ford boost its sales figures in India, where it currently controls just three percent of the car market.