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Posted 09 May 2003 - 05:08 PM



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A quote from Bangkok Post:

Ford mulls 4th model in Thailand

4x4 could be pitched against City, Soluna

The Fusion highlights an SUV package aimed for urban driving.
Ford (Thailand) is studying plans to introduce a fourth mainstream model,
most likely to be positioned in the price range of the Honda City and
Toyota Soluna.

Although nothing is concrete yet, the country's sixth best-selling brand
is keenly looking at new body variations to attract buyers wanting
something different from a conventional sedan at affordable prices.

One option that is said to have a high possibility of being made in Asean
in the next couple of years is a mini-4x4 powered by less than 1.6-litre
engines and placed a notch lower than the Laser saloon.

In Europe, Ford already sells the Fusion which is an ultra-compact sport-
utility vehicle that has been tailored to meet the demands of urban

As well, the Fusion is also sold in South America, but rebadged as
Ecosport. The Brazilian-made SUV has been slightly tweaked to be more
rugged to cope with more common secondary roads.

Since Thailand and other countries in Asean are still considered by most
manufacturers as developing countries with a mix of different driving
conditions, a Ford insider said a similar concept to the Ecosport would
make sense in Thailand.

``The Honda CR-V is now accepted as an urban vehicle. With the CR-V
selling so well, imagine a smaller SUV with a far lower price,'' said the

The Fusion and Ecosport are based on the Fiesta, a model known to Ford as
competing in the B segment of cars in Europe. Both 4x4s have slightly
redesigned, raised bodystyles from the Fiesta hatchback with the option of
four-wheel-drive running gear and engine sizes of 1.4, 1.6 and 2.0 litres.

Opening the mini-4x4 segment may also offer Ford to make a two-pronged
attack on the price brackets of the Soluna and Corolla classes.

The Thai Ford subsidiary also has the alternative to go for the
conventional sedan body silhouette which is already on sale in China
rivalling the Chinese-made Vios from Toyota.

Ford is now employing a new strategy whereby global markets share the same
platforms and technologies as much as possible. This massive cost-saving
measure of Ford is known as GTS (Global Technologies Sharing) and is now
applied intensively in the PAG (Premier Automotive Group) luxury car

As reported in Motoring earlier this year, Thai Prestige Auto Sales wants
to build a new small car from Fiat in Thailand. The Thai Fiat distributor
may turn to the mini-4x4 class, a sector still untapped by any carmaker in
Thailand and avoid the intense rivalry between the City and Soluna sedans.

Ford is also feeling more confident about a mini off-roader instead of a
sedan. The American manufacturer's slogan _ ``No Boundaries'' _ has made
it a serious player in the SUV market, particularly the United States.

Ford's current sports-ute line-up in the Thai market consists of the
Escape, Everest and Explorer models ranging from 900,000 baht up to three
million baht. The mini-4x4 would seize sales opportunities lower down the
range of around 600,000 baht.

As well, the Laser small family car competing with the Honda Civic and
Toyota Corolla has only recorded modest sales since its introduction some
four years back.

The insider also noted that customers' demands are now changing from
saloons towards recreational vehicles like MPVs and SUVs. This trend has
already taken place in Europe where the C-segment saloons are giving in to
other body variations.

Although this trend is just starting in Thailand, it may well take place
at the lower end of the market in the near future, said the insider,
referring to the one million baht range where the Chevrolet Zafira MPV and
Honda CR-V SUV are sold as alternatives to the Toyota Camry and Honda
Accord saloons.

Ford has a mission of becoming a top player in Thailand before the end of
this decade by chasing segmentn the wA quote from Bangkok Post:

Ford mulls 4th model in Thailand

4x4 could be pitched against City, Soluna

The Fusion highlights an SUV package aimed for urban driving.
Ford (Thailand) is studying plans to introduce a fourth mainstrea


Posted 09 May 2003 - 08:30 PM


    Fast & Furious

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Ford should have bring Fiesta to M'sia long time ago......


Posted 31 May 2003 - 11:35 PM



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