2018 Ford Aspire facelift spied on test ahead of launch
The new Figo twins couldn't harness the positive brand value that the old Figo enjoyed. Image - Goswami Transport Co.
The Ford Figo Aspire compact sedan employed the Figo moniker in a bid to take advantage of the positive brand recall but as it turned out, neither of the new Figo twins managed to recreate the original car’s magic. Ford India underwent one of the most expensive brand transformation in the Indian auto sector. This also included the company renaming their affordable compact sedan as Aspire, and not Figo Aspire.
The company apparently is looking to impart individuality into both Figo hatchback and Aspire sedan so that it can have separate marketing strategies. Despite offering good value of money, the duo has been selling well below the company’s expectations.
To bring a boost in sales, Ford will soon launch updated Figo and Aspire. Apart from getting cosmetic updates, the new Figo twins will also receive a new engine. This new engine will be in the form of a three cylinder 1.2 liter petrol mill. It is from the same Dragon family of engines, from which the 1.5L originated, that now powers the EcoSport petrol variants in India.
As of now, the Ford Aspire is offered with two petrol engine options – 1.2 liter and 1.5 liter, both four cylinder motors. The 1.2 liter motor delivers 87 hp / 112 Nm while the 1.5 liter motor claims 110 hp / 136 Nm. The new 1.2 liter motor from the Dragon family is expected to replace both these options. Though official figures of new 1.2 liter motor are not yet out, it is expected to deliver 95 hp and 115 Nm.
The new motor will be mated to a 5 speed manual gearbox. This is an updated unit offering more efficient and smoother shifts as compared to the current 5 speed gearbox. Also on option will be an AMT gearbox, which will come at a later stage. On the inside, you will get EcoSport style touchscreen infotainment system with navigation and reverse park assist.
Ford has been upbeat about their products in India. Despite having a decent enough presence in the market, domestic sales of Ford India have not been up to expectations. A study conducted by the automaker for over 2 years revealed that the lackluster sales performance is due to a trust deficit.
Over the last few months, Ford India invested heavily in increasing the transparency of its after-sales service operations and revealing the fixed rates of services so that customers can trust the dealers. Hopefully, post the launch of updated Figo and Aspire, the company starts seeing a positive change in sales.