When Ford initially launched the facelifted 2017 EcoSport, it was on a mission to reclaim a segment it created. Over the years, the ageing EcoSport that has been retired lost out in terms of relevance to the likes of the Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza and even the new kid on the block, the Tata Nexon. And while it seemed to be struggling in the initial few months, it comfortably overtook Tata Nexon. The Nexon following the launch of the Automated manual transmission option on both the Petrol and the diesel motor has begun to claw its way back, beating the EcoSport in terms of sales in the month of April 2018, industry sources report that EcoSport sales stood at 4,128 units while that of Tata Nexon stood at 4,717 unit. Leaving the difference between the two is more than 600 units. A sizeable gap for a period of one month.
Unfortunately for Ford, their new EcoSport is lacking the mass-appeal that the previous car had, causing sales to take on a steady decline in 2018. The EcoSport sales stood at 6833 units, in Feb they declined to 5438 units, in March 5344 units and now in April, it is at 4128 units. Tata has recently offered an automatic gearbox with the Nexon as well, uniquely offering the automated manual with both the diesel and the petrol. The only car in the segment to offer automatic gearbox’ with both motors. The EcoSport, on the other hand, has an optional automatic only in the petrol variant.
Although Ford do not intend to let the first sub-compact SUV lose out to the new kids, to keep interest up and sales going, Ford will be launching the new EcoSport in S and Signature. The S model will see the return of the 1.0 litre EcoBoost motor to the EcoSport, which we estimate is likely to power to the tune of 120 hp and around 170 Nm of torque. Question is, with competitors like the Tata Nexon coming in at a much more reasonable price point and at-par features, whether the Indian consumer will still want the original Ford compact SUV? Or will the draw to the Nexons fresh design win out!