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Ford commences construction of integrated manufacturing facility in Sanand Print E-mail
Written by Vivek   
Tuesday, 06 September 2011
Sanand: Ford India has commenced construction of it's new integrated manufacturing facility in Sanand, Gujarat. The company is investing approximately USD 1 billion to build new vehicle manufacturing and engine plants in Gujarat. The new manufacturing facility will create 5,000 jobs, and will be able to initially produce 240,000 vehicles and 270,000 engines per year. The first vehicles and engines are scheduled to come off the line in 2014.

The Gujarat government has set aside 160 acres for a suppliers park near the plant, which is expected to be commissioned in 2014.

"This is an investment in the future of Ford globally," said Joe Hinrichs, president, Ford Asia Pacific and Africa. "These new state-of-the-art facilities will help us reach the goal of increasing worldwide sales by nearly 50 percent by mid-decade to 8 million vehicles per year. We are aggressively expanding in markets around the world that have the most growth potential, in order to offer more of the fuel-efficient, high-quality vehicles from our global portfolio that customers in markets like India want and value."

Vehicles manufactured at the facility are expected to be around 80 percent localized. Cars made at the facility will mainly be exported to Mexico, South Africa, North Africa and the Middle Eastern countries.

Engine manufacturing is scheduled to begin in late 2013. The new engine plant represents one of several new investments that Ford has made to support its aggressive expansion plan in India and throughout the globe. The company may also produce the EcoBoost engine here. Engines made at this facility will also be exported.

Earlier this year, Ford announced an investment of USD 72 million by 2012 to expand its already operating powertrain facility in Chennai. Ford’s total investment in India to date is approximately USD 2 billion.

"With this groundbreaking, Ford is planting the seeds for a prosperous future in Sanand for our future employees, suppliers, dealers and customers. As good corporate citizens we will be first-rate stewards of this land and active participants in this community," said Michael Boneham, president and managing director, Ford India.

By 2020, Ford expects India to be only behind America and China in the list of world's largest markets.

"The auto industry's growth rate has slowed. Interest rates and fuel prices have made things difficult. However, we believe it is a short-term event and cyclical. Ford India is on its way to set up a new manufacturing plant keeping the long-term industry growth in mind. By 2020, India will be a nine-million-vehicles-per-annum market," said Boneham.

Joining Boneham during the traditional Indian ritual ceremony was Kumar Galhotra, vice president, Product Development, Ford Asia Pacific and Africa, along with several other Ford executives and high-ranking Gujarat government officials.

Last year Ford announced that it will bring eight new vehicles to India by mid-decade, the first one being the All-New Fiesta, which was launched in July. These products will strengthen Ford’s position in existing segments while driving new growth in others. Ford plans to increase its sales and service network to 200 outlets by end of the year, of which more than 40 percent are located in secondary markets.

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