SÃO BERNARDO DO CAMPO, São Paulo – Recently, Ford previewed the all-new Ford EcoSport – the first One Ford global product developed in South America – at simultaneous events in Brazil and India. The Ford EcoSport has been a unique Ford success story in the region and now it is poised to be a South American success story for the world.
The new model is having a strong and positive presence in the regional media. Marcos de Oliveira, president of Ford Brazil and Mercosur, had the opportunity to speak with @Ford about this important milestone for the company's South American Operations.
Q. What makes EcoSport so special?
A. Ford South America already proved the success of a first-generation model of the EcoSport, which went on to sell more than 700,000 vehicles. Now, with the second generation, we are harnessing the power of One Ford to create innovative new global products like this which answer customers’ aspirations without compromising on safety, affordability or fuel efficiency. We are confident that customers, especially in growth markets dominated by small cars, are going to love EcoSport's unique mix of confidence, capability and adventurous spirit. Since the preview in Brasília (Brazil) and New Delhi (India), the all-new EcoSport has grabbed media attention, with overwhelming success and positive stories.
Q. The original EcoSport was developed in South America. What has been the role of the region in the next-generation model?
A. The all-new Ford EcoSport was developed with South America playing a lead role in a global design and engineering initiative. Our Product Development facilities – Design and Engineering – in Camaçari, Brazil, were in the lead, with experts from all around the Ford world contributing. The lead assembly plant for the Ford EcoSport will continue to be our Camaçari integrated manufacturing center, supported by powertrain manufacturing operations in Taubate, Brazil. The Ford Tatui Proving Ground in Brazil also is playing a major role in testing and quality assurance.
Q. What does the development of a global car mean for Ford South America?
A. It means that South America is fully engaged to the One Ford global platform strategy and our team is very proud and excited with this responsibility. We have a talented team which has already shown that is able to develop high-quality products. Our engineers are doing an excellent job and, based on strong results achieved during early market research studies, I am confident the new EcoSport will be a huge success around the world.
Q. How do you feel to lead the group that developed the new Ecosport in South America?
A. I am very proud of our multidisciplinary team which led the development of this new global vehicle with excellence. This was only possible thanks to the participation of all areas of the company and with the work of every one of our employees and associates, who have all given 100 percent in the mission to maximize our efforts and resources so that we can be even more competitive.
Q. The preview of the first One Ford global product is the mark of Ford pioneerism in Brazil?
A. We were the first automaker to build plants and produce cars in Brazil and also, the first to build in the Northeast and create an automotive complex in the region, so this is not just the only day in our history which is marked by pioneerism. We launched the EcoSport and created a new segment in Brazil when nobody thought about a small and affordable SUV for the South American markets. Recently, we announced the construction of the first engine plant in the Northeast of Brazil and now we have the opportunity to prove that we are a center of excellence in creating world-class products.
Q. When is the public introduction of the all-new EcoSport in South America?
A. The new model will be introduced later this year and we will be sharing more details closer to that time.