Ford to export Figo to Mexico, Middle East, North Africa

March 9th, 2011 - 9:17 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, March 9 (IANS) US auto maker Ford Wednesday said it will export its Chennai assembly plant-produced compact car Figo to Mexico, and some nations in the Middle East, North Africa and the Caribbean this year.

“We will export 1,500 vehicles to Mexico next month. Figo will be the first Indian manufactured car to be sold in Mexico,” President and Managing Director of Ford India Michael Boneham told reporters here.

Boneham said India will be the small car hub for Michigan-based Ford.

“Figo will be produced only in India. There is no plan to assemble it anywhere else,” he said.

The company started exporting its Chennai assembly plant-produced Figo to South Africa from July last year. Ford India, a wholly owned subsidiary of Ford Motor, has exported over 10,000 Figos so far, mainly to South Africa and Nepal.

Ford India will start shipping its vehicles to various foreign markets like Mexico, Middle East, North Africa and Caribbean beginning April 2011, a company statement said. These vehicles will be on sale by mid-2011.

Ford India’s executive director (marketing sales and services) Nigel E. Wark said the company planed to introduce eight new models to Indian market by 2015.

“In every 12 to 15 months, we will introduce at least one new model. By the middle of this decade, we will launch eight new models,” Wark told IANS, adding the company would launch a new model later this year.

Launched in late 2009, Figo has been Ford’s most successful car in India. The company has sold almost 80,000 vehicles in the last one year.

Ford has invested $500 million at its Chennai plant to double its production capacity to 200,000 units.

“Our manufacturing operations have grown so much that we have doubled our workforce in the last two years. We now employ over 10,000 people in India,” said Ford India President Boneham.

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