Ford mulls fresh investments, plant expansion in India

April 7th, 2011 - 6:47 pm ICT by IANS  

Chennai, April 7 (IANS) With production at its Indian plant at Maraimalai Nagar near here expected to saturate soon, Ford India Pvt Ltd, the Indian subsidiary of the US based Ford Motor Company, is mulling further investment to expand capacity, said a top company official.

“We will make an announcement on further investment soon. We have room at our existing location for expansion,” Ford India managing director and president Michael Boneham told reporters after launching Fiesta Classic, an upgraded version of Fiesta.

Ford India currently has a vehicle plant with a capacity to roll out 200,000 units per annum and an engine plant working on three shifts rolling out 250,000 units per annum.

Working in double shifts, the company hopes to touch a production capacity of around 150,000 by the end of this calendar year, Boneham said.

In calendar year 2010, Ford India sold 83,887 units and expects a growth of around 20 percent in 2011. During the first three months of 2011, the company sold 29,804 units.

Ford India has identified 50 overseas markets for its compact car Figo.

Further, the company had announced launch of eight new models by 2015, necessitating increase in capacity.

Queried on reports about Ford India looking at Gujarat for setting up a second production plant, Boneham said he does not want to comment on speculative reports, and reiterated that soon the company would make an announcement on further investments in India.

In 2009, Ford India completed an additional investment of $500 million to ramp up production capacity of vehicles and engines. The company has invested a total of around $950 million in India.

Meanwhile, Boneham said a new premium sedan Fiesta model will be launched sometime in the middle of this year.

According to him, the new Fiesta Classic sedan comes in 1.4 litre petrol and 1.6 litre diesel engine with two variants in each version.

The base petrol model costs Rs.549,030 and the diesel version is priced at Rs.648,000 (both ex-showroom Delhi).

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