Production of the Ford EcoSport has officially ended in Romania, but the Blue Oval brand’s local arm says sales will “continue” in South Africa… for now, at least.
Back in July 2022, assembly of the Ford EcoSport ceased in India. Now, the Dearborn-based automaker has confirmed its Craiova plant in Romania has likewise ended production of the long-in-the-tooth small crossover, meaning the EcoSport is no longer built anywhere in the world.
While Ford Motor Company of Southern Africa wouldn’t be drawn on how long the EcoSport would remain on the local market, it did state stock was still coming in from the Craiova facility in Europe. For how long, though, remains to be seen.
“Production [of the EcoSport at Craiova] ended in December 2022 but shipping to various markets, including South Africa, still continues,” Ford’s local division confirmed to Cars.co.za.
As a reminder, the SA line-up’s mid- and top-spec Trend, Active and Titanium derivatives powered by the turbocharged 1.0-litre, 3-cylinder engine were produced in Romania, while the Ambiente variants fitted with the naturally aspirated 1.5-litre, 3-cylinder petrol engine or the 1.5-litre, 4-cylinder turbodiesel unit were sourced from the Chennai facility in India.
Despite production in Chennai having wrapped up some 7 months ago, the Blue Oval brand says the “Ambiente remains on sale in South Africa, along with the rest of the local EcoSport line-up”. Again, this suggests the company has managed to stockpile a fair number of units.
While the Indian factory has shut down for good, the Romanian plant has shifted its focus towards commercial and electric vehicles. The factory, which also produces the Puma, is due to start building the new Tourneo Courier and Transit Courier soon, before adding an all-electric version of the former (as well as a battery-powered Puma) in 2024.
The EcoSport is now more than a decade old, having been revealed in 2012 and launched locally the following year. The range today comprises as many as 9 derivatives, priced from R311 400 to R416 900, and has remained popular over the past few years, despite an influx of far fresher competitors (many of them in the form of sub-4-metre contenders from India).
That said, local sales have started to slide over the past few months, falling from 816 units in March 2022 to 356 units in February 2023 (after a brief dip into the 200s in November and December 2022). When time is officially up for the EcoSport, it will join the likes of the Figo and Fiesta on a lengthy list of discontinued Ford passenger cars.
Looking for a used Ford EcoSport? Find one here!
How well are SA’s cheapest cars selling? The stats…
A Chery trumps Polo: SA’s best-selling cars in Feb 2023
Original Story by www.cars.co.za
Leave a Comment
Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *