Ford will invest $149m in India to produce Eco Sport model image

Ford Motor Co., the U.S. based automaker, on Monday said it plans to invest Rs 750 crore ($149m) at its Maraimalai Nagar plant in Chennai. The investment will help the automaker to produce a new compact sports utility vehicle — Ford Eco Sport.

The new investment would create additional employment opportunities for about 400 people.

“We are investing USD 142 million in Chennai to produce that vehicle. It really is a tremendous show of confidence to the team in Chennai,” Ford India President and Managing Director Michael Boneham told reporters.

Ford EcoSport made its global premier in the run-up to the 2012 Auto Expo, in New Delhi. Under the hood is Ford’s smallest ever EcoBoost engine, which the carmaker is introducing in India for the first time. The 1-litre, 3-cylinder petrol engine will offer the power and performance of a traditional 1.6-litre petrol engine though, with far more fuel efficiency and CO2 emissions under 140 g/km.

A 1.5-liter diesel version of the car will also be launched in Indian later this year.

The company has also set up its global business service centers in Chennai and Coimbatore, which together employ more than 5,000 people, many of them young women, added reports.

So far, the U.S. automaker has invested around INR45bn ($896m) in the assembly and engine plants and rolls out models like Figo, Fiesta Classic and Endeavour.