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Ford targets sales growth with revised EcoSport crossover

Ford is hoping to boost sales of its EcoSport crossover with a newly revised model and the introduction of a new Titanium S branded specification.

While Ford UK claim that sales of its Nissan Juke and Vauxhall Mokka rival have matched their predictions, with 3,000 in 2014, following the launch last summer, and around 10,000 for the year to date, but conceded that feedback on the vehicle had demanded that improvements were made.

A Ford UK spokesman said: “These changes are completely the result of customer and dealer feedback. We simply weren’t happy with the existing car and its quality so we got a lot more investment to go back and make it a more European car.”

The EcoSport is built in Chennai, India, and was marketed to customers in Asia and South America before the latest iteration reached UK shores last year.

Among the key changes to the revised EcoSport, which went on sale in July and has recently reached showrooms, is a revised chassis, suspension, steering rack and ESP settings.

There is also upgraded sound-deadening throughout, new seats with part leather trim in Titanium spec vehicles and an upgraded, woven cloth headliner, all in a bid to improve comfort and refinement.

The Ford UK spokesman added: “The spare wheel on the boot has been removed, but is still available as an option, as not all customers liked it.

“The strut which dictated how the boot opened and closed has also been replaced. The feedback we got was that it would swing open too easily. Now it can be stopped at any point and it will stay where you leave it. This might be a little thing, but it shows that we have listened what people wanted.”

The 2015 Ford EcoSport is available with 90bhp and 110bhp, 1.5 litre TDCi turbodiesel engines and a 123bhp, one-litre turbocharged EcoBoost petrol engine.

Two grades of trim are available, with Zetec prices starting at £14,245 and Titanium from £16,445.

A further Titanium S grade, which Ford UK sees as the sportiest EcoSport derivative, will reach dealerships next summer.

The range-topping newcomer will come with a 138bhp, one-litre EcoBoost engine, a firmer suspension set-up, black wheels, roof and wing mirror covers as well as an upgraded Sony DAB radio system.

The Ford spokesman said: “So far, EcoSport sales have matched expectations, but we are hoping that the changes will ensure further growth.”

Figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders for the year to October revealed that the EcoSport’s key rivals, the Nissan Juke and Vauxhall Mokka, have been registered in far greater numbers. Total registrations of the Nissan stood at 34,866 (up 6.76% on the previous year), while Mokka registrations totalled 37,067, up 37.28% on 2014.

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