Ford Tries To Change EcoSport's Fate With An Improved Version This Spring
|   Sunday, February 15, 2015
Ford will bring a series of changes to the current EcoSport model to make it a little more desirable crossover for the European public. The improvements are expected in this spring.

Like most major automakers present on the European continent Ford wanted a slice of the segment with the highest growth in recent years: that of the small SUV, inaugurated by the standard Nissan Juke model.

The American manufacturer has prepared for the public in Europe the EcoSport model, a reinterpretation of the model already sold on other continents.
The recipe was not so appreciated by the exigent customers and the EcoSport did not manage to attract too many orders.

According to statistics provided by Automotive News, Ford has managed to sell only 11,257 EcoSport units in Europe, between April to November 2014. At first glance the number may be sufficient, but compared to what rivals have scored, it is a failure. In the same period, the Renault Captur received 149,701 orders, Peugeot 2008 a total of 125,002 and Opel Mokka has seen 114,658 requests.

Car Market analysts forecast a slight increase for the EcoSport in 2015, which would mean a total of 20,239 units sold, instead of its original prediction of 36,000 sales. Again, this is a very small slice of the segment that is expected to see a respectable number of cars sold in 2017. This analysis come from IHS forecasts, which says that European sales of subcompact SUV will grow to over 900,000 units by 2017, up from 500,000 units last year.

This sales growth is stimulated by newcomers on this market, like the Fiat 500X. For this model, IHS thinks sales will reach over 70,000 units. Thus, the Fiat 500X would be fifth in place, behind the Renault Captur, Peugeot 2008, Nissan Juke and Opel Mokka.

Ian Fletcher, IHS Automotive analyst, thinks that Ford made a "big misstep" with the Ecosport model in Europe. This is more so if we consider the potential for growth in this segment over the next two years.

To change the fate of the model, Ford is preparing a number of changes to the EcoSport model. The small size SUV was caught testing a number of improvements. On the list, there is a new suspension, more adapted to the market on the Old Continent. And the interior will see some novelties such as quality plastic material and generous equipment. These changes would be provided on the market from May this year.

Ford said when the EcoSport model (made in India) was launched in Europe last year that the rear of this vehicle could not be changed. On the other hand, the EcoSport model will be sold in Europe without the exterior spare wheel.

A Ford spokesman said that it will be an option at no extra cost. Also, the rear door of the EcoSport model will still be side-hinged. "We want to give it a bit more Fiesta personality," that spokesman said. The Ford Fiesta subcompact hatchback is currently Ford's best seller in Europe.
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