Ford appears to be considering entering the large-volume Indian small car segment for the first time, the Financial Express reported in its online edition.

This was because Ford India Ltd needs a second volume car after the Ikon [a small sedan based on the European Fiesta hatchback] to break even, the paper said.

"While Ford does not reveal future product plans, it is safe to assume that we will introduce additional models in India, including those in the higher volume categories," a senior company official told the Financial Express.

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The newspaper added that, according to local analysts, this signalled Ford's intention to contest the small car segment.

Until now, Ford India, whose managing director is former Ford Australia large car assembly plant manager Phil Spender, has said that it doesn't plan to enter the currently cluttered small car segment, according to the Financial Express.

FIL has already achieved cash break-even with the mid-sized [in Indian market terms] Ikon, the paper added.

Ford is soon to launch the European designed and built Mondeo into India's newly created D-segment which will be a small volume category, the Financial Express said. The paper quoted the Ford official saying that the segment is expected to generate around 5,000-6,000 sales annually.

The official also told the paper that, though FIL had decided to launch the Mondeo, it was not expected to be a large-volume car which would help the company achieve profit break-even. However, the Mondeo was a high image car as it would bring the latest and the best from Ford worldwide to the Indian market.

Starting with fully-imported Mondeos allows for reasonable initial investment and provides the opportunity to participate in the segment while assessing its growth potential, Ford's official told the Financial Express.

A decision on assembling the car in India later would depend on the growth of the D-segment.

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