Ford to invest $72 mn to expand engine plant

May 17th, 2011 - 7:18 pm ICT by IANS  

Chennai, May 17 (IANS) American automobile giant Ford Motor Company will invest $72 million in its engine plant near here to take the annual production capacity to 330,000 units from the current 250,000 units, a company official said Tuesday.

The expansion programme will be completed in mid-2012 and the total investment of parent Ford Motor Company in India will be more than $1 billion, said Michael Boneham, president and managing director of Ford India.

“This investment reinforces the importance of our Chennai plant and Ford’s continued expansion in India. The new investment also further supports our plan to introduce eight new global Ford vehicles in India by 2015,” he added.

“When the expansion is finished, a third production shift will be added at the engine assembly plant, creating more than 300 new direct jobs,” Boneham said.

The new investment is part of Ford India’s transformation into a major global export and manufacturing hub for engines.

The Indian plant is the first Ford facility to feature single flexible production line manufacturing petrol and diesel engines.

It is also the first Ford plant to run a flexible production line producing crank shafts for petrol and diesel engines.

Currently, Ford India’s engine plant produces five Duratec petrol engine variants and one Duratorq diesel engine variant for Ford vehicles.

It is also gearing up to produce powertrains for Ford’s all-new global Fiesta sedan, when it is launched in India later this year.

Since June 2010, more than 4,000 India-built 1.4 and 1.6 litre petrol engines have been exported to Thailand every month.

Diesel engines have also been exported to South Africa since 2008 and Ford plans to export India-built petrol and diesel powertrains to more markets in the near future.

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