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Ford's Ka gets funky fresh

2013-11-14 13:44

NEW LOOKS: Ford has unveiled its new global 'sub-B' segment entry-level car as the Ka. It will launch in Brazil in 2014. Image: Ford

DETROIT, Michigan – Remember Ford’s litte Ka? Well, the automaker has unveiled a new concept version and it looks much better than before.

Ford will launch a small car aimed at emerging markets in 2014, the toughest test yet of chief executive Alan Mulally's strategy of building "global" models that can be sold in countries around the world.


Ford bosses were at the company's plant in Brazil on Wednesday (Nov 13) to showcase a concept version of the global Ka four-door, five-seat hatchback, which will be introduced in Brazil in 2014. Eventually, Ford will bring the global Ka to other emerging markets, including China.

The Ka compact is the smallest and cheapest Ford vehicle to get a global overhaul, competing in what Ford calls the "sub-B" segment.

Ford's operations chief Joe Hinrichs said: "These vehicles really are important to us to move into areas of the business where we have historically not had good share, not made money. If you're going to grow, especially in the growing emerging markets around the world, you need to have this entry-level family car.”

The automaker now feeds this market with its current Ka and the Figo (the latter essentially the previous Fieta), which are built to older, locally tailored vehicle platforms that Ford is increasingly avoiding.

The global Ka, which shares components and an underbody with the Fiesta and EcoSport compact crossover, represents the latest test of Mulally’s "One Ford" plan.

Ford's first global vehicle under Mulally was the Fiesta in 2008, but developing a global car as small and cheap as the Ka has been a challenge.

The global Ka will rival the VW Polo, Fiat Uno and Chevrolet Onix, Ford said. The redesigned Ka does not have a touch screen but has a docking station to accommodate a smart phone, allowing the driver to view navigation and other features.

Hinrichs added:  "In these markets, you don't spend the equivalent of R10 000 for a navigation system, but almost everyone in these markets does have a smart phone."

Ford South Africa said it is yet to find out about the future of the new Ka in SA.
Read more on:    ford  |  america

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