Ford hasn't jumped on the small crossover-utility bandwagon for the U.S. yet, although it does have a model that fits that description.

The Indian-made Ford EcoSport is sold in foreign markets, but so far not in North America.

Could that be about to change?

DON'T MISS: Ford EcoSport Compact Crossover: Forbidden Fruit First Drive (Dec 2013)

Ford is considering exporting the EcoSport from India to the U.S., perhaps in October 2017, according to ET Auto (via Indian Autos Blog).

This would give Ford a model that slots below the Escape in its U.S. lineup, and offer buyers one more option in the burgeoning field of subcompact and other smaller crossovers.

The company is reportedly planning a facelift for the EcoSport that would include changes needed to sell it in the U.S., and aims to produce up to 90,000 units per year.

Ford EcoSport subcompact crossover first drive review

Ford EcoSport subcompact crossover first drive review

That volume is understood to be significantly higher than the EcoSport's sales in India right now, seemingly offering room for some exports.

Ford began exporting vehicles from India in 2010 as a remedy to consistently low local demand. The EcoSport is already sold in Europe, and accounts for roughly 70 percent of Ford's current Indian exports.

If the EcoSport really does come to the U.S., it will be the first vehicle made in India to be sold here.

MORE: 2013 Ford EcoSport Crossover Launches At Delhi Motor Show (Jan 2012)

The last major effort to sell an Indian vehicle in the U.S. was by Mahindra, which had attempted to import small pickup trucks but never officially launched.

EcoSports have been spotted around Ford's headquarters in Dearborn, Michigan over the past few years. Then-CEO Alan Mulally also hinted that the model could be imported in remarks last year--but the company won't confirm any plans.

The EcoSport is based on the Fiesta platform, and is made in Brazil in addition to India.

2013 Ford EcoSport unveiled at Delhi Auto Expo, Jan 2012

2013 Ford EcoSport unveiled at Delhi Auto Expo, Jan 2012

It's currently offered in several markets with a range of engines, including 1.5-liter gasoline and diesel four-cylinders, and Ford's turbocharged 1.0-liter EcoBoost three-cylinder engine.

If it does make it to the U.S., the EcoSport will hardly be lacking in competition.

Ford's Detroit rivals already offer multiple pint-sized utility vehicles of their own. GM has the Buick Encore and Chevrolet Trax, while Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has the Jeep Renegade and Fiat 500X.

Models like the Honda HR-V, Mazda CX-3, and Nissan Juke would also be likely competitors.


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