Ford's B-segment SUV, the EcoSport, is off to a running start, coming out of plants in Brazil and China, and the first models coming off the line this week in Chennai, India. The EcoSport is in the heart of a white-hot market segment, with sales for small SUVs expected to more than double to 207,000 units in China, and forecasts of sales of up to 126,000 models in India by 2015, up from just 6140 small SUVs in 2012.
Even in the depressed European market, small SUVs are selling well where the rest of the market continues to struggle to pull out of its slump. EcoSport models built in Chennai will be exported to Europe later in 2013. In addition to the three current production sites, plants in Thailand and Russia are expected to begin production of the EcoSport soon.
Although unconfirmed, there are some reports that Ford is considering adding the EcoSport to the U.S. lineup, slotting below the compact Escape SUV, sold in other markets as the Kuga.
After a decade of midsize and full-size SUVs dominating sales in the U.S. in the early 2000s, compact SUVs have emerged as the predominant segment in terms of sales volume
, with the Honda CR-V and Ford Escape topping the sales charts in the U.S.