The US automaker continues its global expansion by turning towards India, a major emerging market, where Ford has recently inaugurated a new manufacturing site that essentially allows it do double local production capacity.
Signaling the rising importance of India’s market – which is starting to recover from a recent slump in demand – Ford chief executive officer Mark Fields was present in India for the event and marked the opening of a new vehicle assembly facility as well as a new engine factory in Sanand, Gujarat. The Ford Figo Aspire, a sedan, was also officially premiered there as it will be the first vehicle to come out of the manufacturing lines of the complex. The competitive compact segment in India represents around 45 percent of the total sales of the market and the new model will be available at dealerships later this year with a gasoline and a diesel engine under the hood.
Ford started construction of the new manufacturing site back in September 2011, with the 460-acre complex worth $1 billion having a stamping shop next to the vehicle assembly lines, together with machining and engine assembly. “With today’s opening of our plant in Sanand, we have taken our growth commitment to a new high in India,” commented Fields. Initially, the annual production will stand at 240,000 vehicles and 270,000 engines, the plant starting work with a single shift of 2,500 employees – the supply base that links to the complex adding another 7,500 jobs.