Ford EcoSport getting the axe in North America

Full Disclosure: Ford’s EcoSport has not been one of our favorite models.


Ford

Ford’s least-expensive SUV, the EcoSport, is on its last legs in North America. The automaker has confirmed to Roadshow that the small crossover will continue to be built into the second quarter of 2022 at the company’s plant in Chennai, but after that, it’s lights-out for the factory as Ford looks to exit its unprofitable automaking operations in India.

That means that the subcompact EcoSport crossover will receive an abbreviated 2022 model year in the North American market. A Ford official tells Roadshow that the company will work to ensure that there’s enough product to get dealers through a majority of the 2022 calendar year. Interestingly, North America will not receive the mildly updated EcoSport that has been seen in recent spy shots; the current design will soldier on until Ford ceases the model’s importation.

The EcoSport’s exit from US and Canada leaves the Escape compact as Ford’s most affordable SUV — the Blue Oval will go without a true entry-level SUV to battle popular models like the Chevrolet Trax, Honda HR-VHyundai Venue and Toyota’s new Corolla Cross. However, Ford may have an unexpected trump card: the 2022 Ford Maverick, a small pickup truck that wears a similarly friendly price. 

The Maverick may not be an SUV, but its car-like unibody construction and standard hybrid powertrain could be a compelling alternative to EcoSport targeted buyers all the same. Like the EcoSport, the Maverick is front-wheel drive (all-wheel drive is optional) and the model boasts vastly superior fuel economy figures along with a slightly cheaper $21,490 base price including $1,495 destination fee. (Today’s 2021 Ford EcoSport starts at $21,640 including $1,245 delivery.) “When we talk about affordable vehicles, Maverick slots right into that,” Ford spokesperson Said Deep told Roadshow on Thursday. The Maverick is being pitched as a segment-busting vehicle, and indeed, we at Roadshow think it could even pull shoppers out of conventional economy cars like the Honda Civic, not to mention used cars.

Deep confirmed that the Ford EcoSport will continue to be built for European customers on an ongoing basis out of the model’s other assembly plant in Craiova, Romania. The EU-built model is not homologated for sale in North America.

Ford has sold 32,697 EcoSport models in the US through August of this year, and it sold 60,545 vehicles in all of 2020. 


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