Ford India broke ground for its new, state-of-the-art integrated manufacturing facility in Sanand, Gujarat. As part of its aggressive growth and expansion in Asia, Ford is investing approximately US$ 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.
“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. “Today is another milestone and reinforces our commitment to aggressively grow the Ford brand in India and offer a full range of exciting, fuel-efficient vehicles to Indian customers.”
“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.”
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.
“These are momentous times of change for India and for Ford. Our investment here, just as in our operations in Chennai, represents a commitment that will last for decades and transform thousands of lives. Together with the leaders of Gujarat, other businesses and NGOs, we are proud to be part of the transformation of this community,” said Galhotra.
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. Earlier this year, Ford announced an investment of US$ 72 million by 2012 to expand its already operating powertrain facility in Chennai. Ford’s total investment in India to date is approximately US$ 2 billion.
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. In 2011, Ford has continued to grow aggressively in India by opening one service or sales outlet every week.