New Ford India chief to concentrate on small car

New Ford India chief to concentrate on small car

New Delhi: Vice-president of operations, Michael Boneham, takes the helm of Ford Motor Co.’s India unit next month to shepherd the production of a small and cost-efficient car that will boost the company’s market share. Boneham takes over from Arvind Mathew, who leaves for Ford’s headquarters to be with its global product development team.

Despite being here since the mid-1990s, Ford has a mere 2.1% share in India’s more than 1.5 million a year vehicles market. It is now spending $500 million (Rs2,035 crore) to double production to 200,000 units a year, build a new engine plant and roll out a small car as it seeks to expand its presence in Asia’s third largest automobile market.

Boneham, who has been in the auto industry for 20 years, has held manufacturing positions in the company across the world. He was manufacturing director of Asia-Pacific and Africa markets for Ford and was responsible for implementing a regional quality operating system in this region.

“We’ve got aggressive plans for capacity expansions and got to being the supplier base along," said Boneham, listing his challenges. We also need “a lot more localization, and launch a new product and grow our dealer base".

“Strategically, we need to focus on large components like engines, which need to be localized if we have to be able to compete," he added.