Ford plans to launch 8 new products in India

Company Managing director Michael Boneham told reporters here that a significant part of the eight products would be "localised". To a question, he said the company 'has to be there in the small car segment'. He, however, did not divulge details or confirm whether it would mean being present in the sub Rs three-lakh segment.

Boneham was speaking after unveiling the Ford Endeavour three litre 4x2 automatic transmission model.Since inception, Ford has invested close to one billion dollars to expand its India operations. The company infused 500 million dollars in January 2008 to grow the vehicle manufacturing capacity in Chennai to produce 200,000 units per year and to set up a new state-of-the-art engine manufacturing plant with a capacity of 250,000 units both for domestic and export markets.

Overwhelmed by the response received from India Boneham said that Figo has had a "fantastic" response with 30,000 cars sold in the first 25 weeks in India. Boneham said that the company "plans to be a serious player in India" and would "continue to invest in India" to grow and mark our presence across segments.

Besides, he added that Ford India is optimistic about growth in the Rs 15-20 lakh segment as well going by the strides taken by the economy.He, however, admitted that there are issues over raw material and input costs in terms of logistics and transport. The company would observe what the competitors do before coming up with a strategy, he added.

Talking about the growth plans he said it encompasses exporting to 50 new markets, including South Africa where Figo is among the top 10 players. "They are chasing us for more products but there are supply constraints," Boneham said.

The other markets it hopes to cater from India include Mexico and northern Africa.
Commenting on recruitment plans he said there are plans to hire engineers and technicians to make up for attrition levels, which are as per industry standards.

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