Ford EcoSport's pricing to challenge Maruti, Renault
ET learns that the initial launch price of the compact EcoSport SUV will be Rs 5.9-6 lakh, much lower than Renault Duster's launch price of Rs 7.19 lakh. Higher variants will command a higher price, but Ford has worked out the pricing in such a way that the top-most EcoSport variant, at around 9 lakh, will still be cheaper than the Duster's Rs 11 lakh.
The EcoSport's pricing is likely to intensify competition in the SUV segment and also force Hatchback makers such as Hyundai and Maruti to change tack quickly. The top DZire/i20 variant is likely to cost more than the base version of an EcoSport, giving buyers an opportunity to buy an SUV (even if it is a compact one) than a costly premium hatchback or a compact Sedan. For instance, the highest version of a Maruti DZire costs Rs 7.5 lakh while the i20's premium version costs about Rs 7.79 lakh.
Duster's customers include buyers of mid-size sedans such as Honda City, Volkswagen Vento and Hyundai Verna, but the EcoSport, being a B segment compact SUV, will aim at buyers of compact sedans such as Maruti Suzuki DZire and Toyota Etios. Renault rattled the SUV market veterans, primarily M&M, by launching the Duster at an initial price of Rs 7.19 lakh.
It has become Renault's best-selling vehicle, averaging 4,000-5,000 units a month, and one of the reasons behind the scorching pace of SUV growth this year along with M&M's XUV 500. Though M&M has seen its market share falling to 47%, its volumes have grown over 30% this fiscal to over 2.4 lakh units.