Ford plans to make India export hub

Tags: Ford, Cars
US car major Ford today said it will make India its export hub with plans to sell its products in more than 50 countries over a period of time.

The company, which has committed a total investment of $2 billion in India so far, also said 40 per cent of its engines produced in the country will be sold overseas.

"We are creating an export hub in India. Our small car Figo is exported to 35 markets around the world and our plan is to increase this to 50 markets over a period of time," Joginder Singh, who will take over as the new President and Managing Director of Ford India from December 1, told reporters here.

Singh will replace Michael Boneham, who has been heading the Indian subsidiary of Ford Motor for about five years.

"Our new compact sports utility vehicle EcoSport will also be exported from India. We will launch the vehicle next year," Singh said.

Talking about engine production plans of Ford India, he said: "With the Sanand facility in Gujarat coming up, the combined engine output will be over 6 lakh units annually. Out of that, 40 per cent will be exported... We are delighted to have India as the export hub."

Besides its existing facility in Chennai, Ford India is investing $1 billion to set up its second production site in the country. With the upcoming plant, which will start production by 2014, the combined vehicle assembly capacity will go up to 4.4 lakh units per year.

When asked about Ford's miniscule presence in Indian automobile market even after its entry nearly 17 years ago, Singh said: "As per SIAM data, our current market share is under three per cent. We are on the verge of great things to happen. We expect a significant jump in market share with our plans to have eight new models by middle of this decade."

With more products, higher production capacity and expanded dealer network, the company will see accelerated growth in future, he added.

Singh said its Ford's plans regarding India are "on track". The company will double the touch points to 500 by 2015 from 250 at present.

"The industry's 40 per cent sales are coming from Tier II and III cities. Our focus will also be the same while going forward," he added.

Ford India's domestic sales declined by 6.35 per cent to 7,577 units in October from 8,091 units in the same month last year.

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