PRETORIA, South Africa – The Ford Figo is a key product for Ford Motor Company of Southern Africa (FMCSA) in the region’s fast-growing new car market. Its crisp driving dynamics, fuel-efficient engine options, cheerful styling and interiors and, of course, its terrific pricing, have propelled it up the sales charts and won it critical acclaim in the local media.
Launched in South Africa in July 2010, the Figo caters to the increasingly important entry-level market. The so-called sub-B segment has increased exponentially as South Africans continue to buy more affordable cars in the shadow of economic recession.
“The market is moving towards smaller more affordable hatchbacks that offer an appealing level of style and safety,” said FMCSA Vice President of Marketing, Sales and Service Dean Stoneley.
In light of its success, the South African motoring media have named the Figo a finalist in the South African Car of the Year competition. The winner will be announced at a gala awards ceremony on March 8, 2011.
“It is an impressive testament to the weight this segment commands in the new car market,” Stoneley added.
Figo enjoyed a successful debut in South Africa, capitalising on the extensive demand in its segment. The car promptly entered the country’s Top 10 performing passenger cars in its launch month, despite being on the market for only two weeks. It firmly established itself as the eighth-best-selling passenger car in the second half 2010, with the Figo finding 4,380 new owners in 2010.Ford Motor Company invested USD 500 million in the Chennai, India plant which produces 200,000 Ford Figos per year. Through this investment Ford was able to ensure major advances in high-quality automation and innovative as well as eco-friendly production techniques.
“Ford Motor Company has demonstrated its commitment to emerging markets through its sizeable investment in the production of the Ford Figo, a product intended specifically for these markets,” said Stoneley.
In India the small car segment accounts for more than 70 percent of the new vehicle market, while in South Africa this segment is demonstrating rapid growth. The Figo has a solid foundation and utilises Ford’s small-car platform architecture, sharing underlying technology with the Ford Fiesta.
“Though the Figo is based on the tried-and-tested platform of the previous generation Fiesta it is a more sophisticated product making use of newer more advanced technologies and resources,” Stoneley noted.
Sharing key elements of Ford’s kinetic design language with vehicles like the globally renowned Ford Focus and the Ford Fiesta, Ford Figo features a fresh, contemporary shape that is a distinctive alternative to traditional brands in this segment. The new Figo is built using the latest Ford global manufacturing processes and is pioneering new technologies for the company.
The Figo has already been named the Indian Car of the Year (ICOTY) 2011 by a jury panel of leading automotive magazine editors and has gone on to win more awards than any other nameplate in the history of the Indian automotive industry.