New Delhi: Ford Motor Co. will introduce its iconic Mustang car in India in less than a year, according to four people familiar with the development.

Chief executive Mark Fields told the company’s dealers in India about Mustang’s launch during a meeting last week, the people said. They declined to be named. Fields visited India to inaugurate Ford’s second manufacturing facility in the country and met company dealers and component suppliers.

Ford plans to showcase the car at the 2016 Delhi Auto Show, which is scheduled to begin in the first week of February, and start selling the products in the country within a “few months".

The Detroit-based car maker is likely to make India a priority market for Mustang’s right-hand drive (RHD) model, which has been developed by the firm ground up and had started selling in the UK earlier this year at £28,995 ( 26.94 lakh), according to one of the four people mentioned above.

“While, a lot of details are not yet clear, the general perception is the cars will start selling at a little below the 50-lakh mark," this person said. “It is clear that India will get sizeable chunk of the RHD models."

A spokesperson for Ford in India declined to comment.

The car will compete with BMW India Pvt. Ltd’s 5 series sedan and Audi India Pvt. Ltd’s A6.

The new Ford Mustang made its public debut at the Detroit motor show in 2014. It is the latest global model developed under the “One Ford" plan, and Ford has said that the character has not been altered as a result.

Globally, the new Mustang comes powered with two engine choices—a 2.3-litre EcoBoost petrol engine that develops 310bhp and a 5-litre V8 engine that delivers 418 bhp.

India, however, is unlikely to get the EcoBoost engine and the car will come with the V8.

Ford’s EcoBoost engines are of a new family, which claims to offer better fuel economy through a combination of turbocharging and direct fuel injection without sacrificing engine power.

In India, Ford’s compact sport utility vehicle (SUV) EcoSport comes with a 1-litre EcoBoost engine that gives an on-road mileage of 15 km/litre, compared with the traditional 1.5-litre petrol engine with a fuel economy of 10 km/litre.

To begin with, the iconic model may not be available across all the Ford outlets but in its top 10 cities, and there may not be a requirement for setting up separate sales networks for the vehicle.

Initially, the company wanted to introduce the Mustang by 2015 as per its plans to introduce eight new models between 2010 and 2015.

In July, Mint had reported that Ford will cut down on the number of new product launches it initially planned for India to six because of slowing automobile sales in the country.

Since April 2010, Ford has introduced three products—Figo hatchback, Fiesta sedan and SUV EcoSport. The three products it plans to introduce in the next 18-24 months are a sub-4 metre sedan based on the Figo platform, the next-generation of the Figo hatchback and a new model of its SUV Endeavour.

Among the casualties of the slowdown are a multipurpose vehicle on the Figo platform and the iconic Mustang, which will now be launched in India only in 2016.

According to Anil Sharma, an analyst with consulting and forecasting firm IHS Automotive, Ford’s idea of bringing in an iconic and expensive brand to India is a deviation from its current strategy where it is focused more on the mass-market side.

“The move is good in many ways. It is a classic nameplate followed across the globe, but I am not sure how much pull it will bring to Ford’s Indian operations," Sharma said.

He agreed that the move may enhance the company’s brand in the country, but added that “brand reverence in India is not very high".

To be sure, companies such as Hyundai Motor India Ltd, Toyota Kirloskar Motor Pvt. Ltd and Nissan India Pvt. Ltd are also considering to introduce their iconic brands such as Genesis, Lexus and Infinity.

Close