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‘No comment’ on Indian Fords

Indian take-out: Fiesta sedan could come to Oz from the subcontinent.

A booted Fiesta sedan set for Indian release shortly has plenty of local Ford input

14 Jun 2005

FORD Australia has greeted as "speculation" news that Ford of India is considering exporting its Fiesta sedan to Australia after the car goes on sale in the sub-continent later this year.

Codenamed B376, the car will be built at Ford India’s Chennai plant for local and export markets, according to India’s Economic Times.However, Ford Australia spokesperson Sinead McAlary said the company was not in a position to comment on what Ford of India might be planning.

B376 is the second major international design job Ford Australia has undertaken in the past year, although details have not yet been made public.

The first design was the transformation of the new Focus hatch into a four-door sedan.

The Focus sedan concept, put together by Ford Asia-Pacific Design in Melbourne, was shown in China last year.

According to the Economic Times report, the Fiesta sedan will compete against the Honda City (Jazz sedan) and Chevrolet Optra (previously known as the Daewoo Lacetti here) and will be available with both petrol and diesel engines.

Ford of India’s external affairs vice president, Vinay K Piparsania, told the newspaper that Ford was in the process of developing a new car for the Indian market.

"It is an India-specific product and tests are on for the new car in various Indian regions," he said.

As for exports, India is tipped to be the manufacturing hub for the new car for several countries, possibly even Australia, reported the Times.

"We look at export opportunities for any product. But the first step is always to create a strong domestic presence," said Mr Piparsania.

Mr Piparsania said export opportunities might exist depending on the success of the Ford Ikon, based on the previous-generation Fiesta, which was launched specifi cally for the Indian market.

"Given the success of Ikon, in both the domestic as well as the export markets, such opportunities could be there for future products, too," he said.

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