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Old 10-14-2003, 10:51   #1 (permalink)
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Asia:Ford introduces Endeavour SUV in India

Automotive News
Reuters / October 14, 2003

NEW DELHI, India -- The Indian unit of Ford Motor Co. launched its Endeavour SUV in the country on Tuesday aiming to win buyers in a new emerging market segment.

Company officials said in a news conference that the Endeavour was priced at $28,228 in Delhi, the cheapest among such SUVs launched in the past year -- the Hyundai Terracan, the Chevrolet Forrester, the Suzuki Vitara and the Honda-CRV.

"It is the latest SUV in the Ford stable introduced this year and is especially designed for Indian markets," David Friedman, Ford India's managing director, said.

Friedman said Ford expected to sell about 150 Endeavours a month, adding that India's utility vehicle segment had grown 50 percent this year.

The Endeavour will be assembled at Ford's plant near the southern city of Madras from completel knockeddown kits imported from its plant in Thailand.

The vehicle is powered by a 2.5 liter turbo-diesel engine and 20 percent of its parts will be made locally.

Ford India Ltd., in India since 1996, makes several versions of its Ikon sedan at its plant on which it has spent $373 million. It also imports the Mondeo family car from Belgium.

The automaker is aiming to sell about 20,000 Ikons and Mondeos in the domestic market and export an equal number in knockdown form. It sold 14,970 cars in 2002 and exported 28,915 complete knockdown kits.
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