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Spy Shots

When Ford unveiled the EcoSport Concept at the New Delhi Auto Expo in January, we were smitten. A pint-sized, good-looking CUV with thrifty engines could do well here in the States. Brazil's Noticias Automotivas has caught what looks like a production EcoSport sans camo before it undergoes crash testing and, as promised, it looks little changed from the showcar.

Ford operates three factories in Brazil where it has a 12% market share. According to a Detroit News article in July, 20% of Ford's 2005 worldwide profit came from its Brazilian operations. But it looks like hefty competition from the usual suspects (Honda, GM, Toyota) have the Blue Oval looking for new product. Thus it's no surprise that Ford of Brazil is in buyout talks with Brazilian automaker Troller Veiculos Especias, Reuters reported Friday.

Yesterday we mentioned Ford's (and GM's and Chrysler's) declining domestic sales figures for May. The theory for the Big Three's inability to increase sales is that fuel-efficient Japanese cars are winning over customers. Well, if the market wants smaller, fuel-efficient cars, then Ford is willing to deliver. In Brazil, at least.