Ford India plant gears up for small car


With Maruti Suzuki, Hyundai and Tata Motors taking the lead, it is now turn for Ford India to roll out a small car in early 2010.
Ford Motor of USA, the parent company, wading through tough times back home, is pinning its hopes on India to prop up its fortunes. Briefing group a visiting reporters after a tour of the company’s car manufacturing facility here, Ford India Private  Limited President and Managing Director Michael Boneham said the company’s integrated manufacturing facility at Maraimalainagar is readying itself for volume production.

The $550 million plant, which is being currently ramped up through various technological upgradation to double its capacity, he said, will also become the firm’s strategic global production hub for Ford Motor.
Stating that they are yet to zero in on a name for the small car, Boneham said that they may or may not name it Splash for which Ford has bought over the title rights.
 Ford is likely to launch a petrol car with 1.2 litre engine and a diesel car with 1.5 litre engine. “We will start sales in the domestic market and ship them to other countries depending on the demands. Initially we will explore exports to Asia Pacific region,”  he added.

New Endeavour
Further, sticking to its plan of launching a new car once every 10-12 months in the country, the company will launch its Automatic Endeavour in the coming week. And it said it is being introduced to meet the aspirations and rising expectations of the customers who have been demanding it.
Stating that the company has only utilised 70 per cent of the $550 million committed to India plans, Boneham said the full amount would be utilised by end of next year, adding “We are looking at more investment.” Stating that the plant is currently working in single shift producing around 150 cars a day as against installed capacity of 100,000 per annum, he said “this was because current volume demand dictates only single shift.” 

“We will however ramp it up to 185 by December and to over 330 over the next six months time,” he added.
While Ford Endeavour will have a separate line at the facility all other cars, including the small car, would be built on the new flexible assembly line, he pointed out.

Liked the story?

  • 0

    Happy
  • 0

    Amused
  • 0

    Sad
  • 0

    Frustrated
  • 0

    Angry