Ford’s Chennai plant to cater to Asia-Pacific, Africa markets

Ford’s Chennai plant to cater to Asia-Pacific, Africa markets

Kolkata: American automobile major Ford Motors plans to make its Chennai facility a manufacturing and export hub covering the Asia-Pacific and African markets after augmenting production facilities by early next year.

Ford’s foray into the Indian compact car market with the much touted ‘Figo’ is expected to take place by March, next year and the vehicle would be exported in these markets along with sales in India, Ford India President and chairman Michael Boneham said here today.

Ford India is investing $500 million in expanding production at its Chennai plant from one lakh to two lakh, apart from producing 2.5 lakh engines, both in petrol and diesel.

He, however, declined to state what percentage of the production would be earmarked for overseas markets.

Relaunching its SUV Endeavour with some added facilities, Boneham said the new ‘Figo’, on which the company is depending to get into the lucrative A segment, would be available in both petrol and diesel versions.

“We are coming up with a 1.2 litre petrol engine and the diesel variant will be a sub 1.5 litre one," he said.

“Pricing of the car will be extremely competitive," he said assuring that the car would be loaded with goodies. “At Ford, we do not believe in any stripped down version."

He said the company would actively pursue to make inroads into the volume segment with small cars and aimed to launch a new model in India every 12 to 18 months.