The new, US-market Ford EcoSport unveiled just ahead of the 2016 Los Angeles International Auto Show will almost certainly be imported; the real question is from where. While we thought it plausible that the pint-sized crossover could be built at one of Ford’s plants in Mexico, it looks like the new vehicle will instead be sourced from India, according to CNBC.
Ford only recently announced plans to build a new Global Technology and Business Center in India, as part of a plan to transform the country into more of a major business, engineering, and production hub. Ford India’s two manufacturing facilities currently operate well below capacity.
Of course, whether from India or Mexico, the Ford EcoSport’s extranational origins may attract undesired attention in the given the prominence that trade has achieved in the national conversation. President-elect Donald Trump has iterated numerous times that he is perfectly eager to institute tariffs on Mexican- and Chinese-made products; we have to imagine he’s more than willing to slow or stop the importation of Indian-built vehicles, too.
An anonymous source reportedly told CNBC that the decision to build the US-market 2018 Ford EcoSport “was made a long time ago,” and that “it has everything to do with Ford’s manufacturing footprint, not the trade battle with Trump.” Ford is, of course, far from the only automaker to source especially low-price, low-margin products from abroad.