Ford India has launched a new Fiesta sedan in India but the model is quite different from a three-box version of the popular European hatchback sold in South America since 2004.

Ford claims the Fiesta sedan was developed specifically for the Indian market by a global engineering team though it seems strange it would go to all that trouble when an off-the-shelf vehicle had already been developed in Brazil.

Just-auto reported exclusively in September 2004 that the latest Fiesta sedan was designed by Ford Brazil to replace the Mexican-made previous-generation Ikon model. The Ikon is also built in India and China.

On his first visit to India, and in Delhi specifically for the debut of the new Fiesta, Ford chairman and CEO Bill Ford said: "As we accelerate our effort to meet the global challenges of our business, I have emphasised the importance of optimising our global footprint by investing in areas that are growing.

"India is right at the top of that list. This market is critical to our plans for building a Ford Motor Company for the 21st century."

The new Indian Fiesta sedan goes on sale in the fourth quarter of 2005, joining the Ikon, Mondeo, Endeavor and Fusion in the local product line. It is the fifth new product for Ford in India since 1999 and a core team of local engineers worked with product development teams from the UK, Germany and Australia on the project. Ford Brazil was not mentioned in Ford's statement.

The four-door Fiesta will be introduced in India with two powertrains: the Duratec petrol 1.6-litre engine and the Duratorq 1.4-litre TDCi diesel. With this launch, Ford will introduce its proprietary Turbo Direct Common Rail injection (TDCi) technology in India.

For the Indian market, the Fiesta was made capable of wading through monsoon flooding, handling bow waves, while not allowing water into the body compartment and other water sensitive systems.

It also has a specially-developed air conditioner.