Ford Motor to build $1bn factory in India image

U.S based carmaker Ford Motor Co. said Thursday it has laid the foundation for its second plant in India, as the automaker seeks to expand its presence and sales in the growing automobile market.

The plant in the western state of Gujarat will have the capacity to manufacture 240,000 cars and 270,000 engines a year when it’s complete in 2014. The factory will produce cars for domestic consumers and for export.

It already has a plant in the southern port city of Chennai where it makes the Figo hatchback, Fiesta and Fiesta Classic mid-size sedans and Endeavour sport-utility vehicle.

Ford’s move to expand its India business comes amid slowing car sales in India.
So far during the fiscal year ending in March, car sales have crept up 0.3 per cent, against the previous year’s 29.5 per cent surge.

Analysts predict India’s growth will bounce back as the economy grows and interest rates fall. IHS expects sales of passenger cars and light trucks in India to more than double in the next eight years, reaching 6.2 million vehicles by 2019.