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Compact car segment sales growth in India

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Compact car segment sales accounted for 45 percent of Indian auto market sales in 2014. Ford expects the segment to grow from 1.1 million in 2014 to about 1.6 million units by 2018. Ford Figo Aspire was unveiled during the company’s Sanand plant inauguration. The newest compact sedan for India will also be exported.

Ford India compact car segment
Ford Motor Co President and CEO Mark Fields addresses the gathering at Ford Sanand plant inauguration

Ford India exports in 2014 stood at 76,981 units, which is about 160 units short off what the auto manufacturer sold in the domestic market last year. Indian passenger car sales is expected to grow manifold with the current estimate at 15 cars per 1000 people. With emphasis on the compact car segment, Ford looks to create a centre of excellence for small cars in India. Ford has had success with its small cars here. First with Figo, and then it’s compact Ecoport SUV. Ford Figo Aspire is expected to be yet another strong offering from the auto manufacturer.

In strengthening India as an export hub, Ford India is keen to triple exports from here in the next five years. Back in 2011, Ford Motors announced India as an export hub with the aim to shipping vehicles to 50 countries. At the time, Ford exported 40 pct of its Made in India engines.

The fast-growing compact car segment (sedan) in India is competitive. Tata Motors has introduced Zest in petrol and diesel. The first sub 4 metre offering was the Indigo CS. At auto expo 2014, Ford Figo Concept, its first compact sedan offering in India was shown. The car is now much closer to production having been unveiled yesterday, and launch is expected in Q2 2015. Hyundai India offers the Grand i10 based compact sedan Xcent here. Maruti Suzuki Dzire and and Honda Amaze are segment top sellers respectively.