New Delhi: In a boost to Prime Minister Narendra Modis ‘Make in India’ initiative, automaker Ford has decided to export to the US its Ecosport SUVs manufactured at its plants in Chennai.
Ecosport is one of the most popular subcompact SUVs around the globe. Its new version was unveiled at the Los Angeles Auto Show on Monday.
USA Today said the introduction of the SUV at the US auto show came with “a big surprise”.
“EcoSport is going to be made in India and imported into the US,” it said, adding the car will be manufactured in Chennai before it goes on sale in 2018.
The daily quoted Michael O’Brien, Ford Marketing Manager for SUVs, as saying: “We build EcoSport in six locations around the globe. We sell it in 100 markets, and so, just like we make Explorers and export from here into other global markets, we are going to export EcoSport from Asia Pacific, and we are going to sell it here in the US.”
The decision to import India-made SUVs came even as Ford has come under attack in recent months from President-elect Donald Trump for moving production of small cars from the US to Mexico.
Ford started making EcoSport in India since 2013. The SUV is also assembled in Brazil, Thailand and Russia.
The daily said Ford is aiming EcoSport at two main US consumer groups — “millennials and empty nesters”.
And that is why the automaker chose “to reveal the EcoSport right off the Hollywood Walk of Fame at an event headlined hip-hop producer and Snapchat king DJ Khaled titled ‘Go Small, Live Big’.”