The Ford EcoSport starts at $20,395 and is Ford’s smallest SUV. It’s even smaller than the Escape, which starts at $25,555. But apparently in part because of Ford’s retrenchment from India, the EcoSport will be dead here after mid-next year.
That’s according to the Detroit Free Press, which says that Ford shutting down production in India, where EcoSports are assembled for the U.S., means the demise of the EcoSport here, too. The EcoSport will still be sold in Europe, via Ford’s factory in Romania, according to the Freep. The Freep also talked to various analysts who had rude things to say about the Ford EcoSport.
“Ecosport was never really a fit for the American consumer,” said Maeva Ribas, manager of design research and strategy at The CARLAB Inc., an automotive product planning consulting group based in southern California.
“Ford is just rectifying a misconception. Ecosport does not belong in the U.S.,” she said.
Others expressed a similar lackluster response.
“The demise of the Ford EcoSport in the U.S. comes as no surprise. It is made in India, where Ford has been winding down its business,” said Michelle Krebs, executive analyst for the online marketplace Autotrader.com. “Plus, the EcoSport was never a strong seller. It didn’t measure up to some very tough competition in the subcompact SUV segment.”
Now, these analysts are right that the EcoSport was never right for America, mainly because it has “Eco” in its name, but also because it isn’t a $40,000 SUV. They are also right that sales were tepid — Ford has sold just 32,697 EcoSports here so far this year, down 22 percent from the same period last year.
Still, unless you are on Ford’s payroll, you have no obligation to cosplay being a Ford product planner, and I will just note that it is sad that Ford is getting rid of its cheapest car.