Mumbai: Ford India, which launched a variant of its popular small car Figo on Tuesday, said it expects the sagging car demand to get a boost during the forthcoming festive season.

"It's a competitive market. Due to high inflation consumer sentiment is down. We will start to see a turnaround hopefully with the festive season," Ford India President and Managing Director Michael Boneham told reporters here.

"We will be seeing a lot of sales, I hope. The order book is looking quite encouraging," he added.

With the new Figo, priced at Rs 3,84,999 for the petrol, and Rs 4,81,999 for diesel (ex-showroom Delhi), the company said that it will stop production of the old Figo.

The carmaker had reported 8.29 percent decline in sales in September at 9,418 units.

Stating that growth has been flat in the recent past, he said, "remember we are all used to the massive growth two-and-half-years ago, we had growth of 30 percent year-on-year. That is not sustainable. I think a 10-15 percent growth is what we need to see. We are looking at the long-term. We are confident that by 2020, this will be our third largest market," he said.

He further said Figo sales are likely to improve with better macroeconomic environment and claimed that year after year the Figo sales have been growing by 10 percent.

On the new plant in Gujarat, where the company has invested about USD 1 billion to build a new manufacturing and engine plant, he said: "We are on track with construction. I went there two weeks ago and was very pleased. We are going to have 3,000 people on site. The first vehicle and engine are scheduled to come in 2014."

Ford currently exports to 35 countries from its Chennai facility, and is also looking at 15 new markets for exports.

"We are looking at the North African hub and the other developing markets for exports now," he said.


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