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Wednesday, September 30, 2009
Many are aware the Ford's new developing market hatchback model - the Figo will be made in India. What is less publicised however is that while the car will be made in Ford's new regional centre of excellence manufacturing plant in Maraimalai Nagar, near Chennai, the Figo was actually designed in Australia.
Development work of the Figo was done by Ford’s Asia Pacific & Africa product development team in Broadmeadows, Australia, near the northern outskirts of Melbourne. The team is led by Scott Strong. Broadmeadows is the headquarters of Ford Australia while Ford's Asia Pacific & Africa product development's head office is located in Bangkok, Thailand.
The Figo is based on the Mk5 Europe's Ford Fiesta. This should not be confused with another Ford model sold in India, also under the name Fiesta. The Indian Fiesta is also rumoured to have received significant engineering input from Ford Australia.
The Indian market Fiesta is designed solely for the Indian market consumption and is not sold elsewhere. It's not a bad looking car, look closely and you can see hints of influence from large Aussie sedans like the Ford Falcon, which further lends credibility to the rumour of Aussie link.
Besides the Figo, Ford's Australian team is also working on the next generation Ford Ranger and it's sister car; Mazda BT-50 truck (internally known as T6). The T6 Ranger / BT-50 will also be sold in USA as a small-light pick-up truck, slotted below their gargantuan F-150 models that are proving harder to sell in the current environment of high energy prices. The T6 Ford Ranger is expected to be launched by 2012.
Spyshots from CarAdvice.