Ford recently announced its exit from the retail automotive market in India after 25 years on dealer lots there. One casualty of the move is Ford’s pocketbook, the automaker already having lost $2 billion over the past 10 years and taking another $2 billion in charges tied to the move over the next several years. Roughly 4,000 employees will also need to deal with the blow. But there’s one more subcompact casualty from the fallout, Ford confirming to the Detroit Free Press that the EcoSport won’t be sold in the U.S. after production ends in India.
In a separate statement to Automotive News, a company spokesperson said, “With Ford India’s restructuring announcement, the Ford EcoSport will now be sold in North America only through the second half of 2022,” after which it would “continue to serve EcoSport customers with parts, service and warranty support.”
It’s not the end of the EcoSport, only the end of the EcoSport here. The Europeans get the Fiesta-based crossover, but theirs is made in Romania, and it will continue being produced there. Our version, on sale since the last few weeks of 2017, came from an assembly plant in Chennai, India that will be shuttered by the end of June 2022. Sales weren’t terrible through the end of last year, the model dipping just 6.4% compared to 2019, moving 60,544 units in 2020. This year, however, the numbers have declined 22%. The Chevrolet Trax and Kia Soul have taken a hit, too, while the Honda HR-V and Hyundai Kona have barely felt any pain, but all of them already handily outsold the EcoSport.
It might have helped if Ford had cared about it. Our First Drive of the EcoSport in 2018 ended with, “it’s an aging model designed for other markets,” and, “it might make more sense to wait for Ford to revamp the model.” Now the wait is over.