By Theodore Opara
Ford is not relenting on its efforts to take a good chunk of the Nigerian passenger car market. The American auto maker, having made serious in-road into the Nigerian pickup vehicle segment with the Ford Ranger, is now poised to repeat the feat in the passenger car segment, especially the small car segment in the last ten years.
The Ford Ranger became one of the most sought-after pickups in the country shortly after its introduction few years ago and a strong competitor to the Toyota Hilux in its segment.
With the success recorded by Ford Ranger in the country, Ford has concluded plans to invade the passenger car market with its fast selling small cars like the Figo and Fiesta. This will be done through its two representatives in Nigeria, Coscharis Ford and Briscoe Ford which saw to the success of the Ranger.
The all-new Figo which is already a huge success in most part of the world will targeted at the Korean models which have dominated the small passenger car segment.
Figo’s exterior styling follows the global kinetic design elements that help harmonise the car with other models in the Ford global line_up, including Focus and Mondeo.
The car’s large headlamps have a dynamic shape that helps define the element of speed and agility for the Figo. Underneath, the lower grille opening emulates what now appears on many global Ford models. The lower grille, painted black, is flanked by removable inserts that can be supplanted with driving lamps that are available as an accessory through Ford dealers. The upper grille, also painted black, pulls from Ford kinetic design with the “cat whisker” shape.
All models have a large pronounced “FORD” emblem located in the centre of the grille. On High_series models, the grille is complimented with a chrome strip running along the top of it. The distinct Figo front fenders also include the side turn indicator lamp ornamentation that is found on many Ford passenger cars today.
From the rear, the Figo continues with kinetic design cues. The rear backlight, along with a subtle hint of a spoiler located in the tailgate adds to the dynamism and muscular appeal. The rear backlight is flush_mounted for reduced wind noise.
The personality that Figo expresses on the outside carries over into the interior of the vehicle with an all_new design that communicates a simple elegance with quality, character and honesty.
The overall strategy was to make the driver and occupants feel special regardless of the trim level that a customer chooses. On the inside, Figo provides some of the best interior ergonomics and proportions including 1084 millimetres of front legroom, 1358 millimetres of front shoulder room and 1001 millimetres of front headroom.
Second row proportions are best in the segment with rear seat leg, shoulder and headroom at 860 millimetres, 1300 millimetres and 959 millimetres respectively. On Entry_level models, the overall theme is subtlety combined with harmony.
Also included are alerts for ‘door ajar’, ‘headlamps on’ and seatbelts. Diesel models include an alert for ‘water in fuel’. All models include a 12_volt power socket to charge personal items, including cell phones.
Door panels for the entry-level model are made of a grained composite insert fitted to all four doors. For ease of operation, deep door cups are provided and include storage for a one-litre bottle. All models have a standard heater and air conditioning system. The system includes an internal dual filter to help reduce coarse and fine particles of pollen and dust from entering the vehicle when the air conditioning is in use.