Ford to invest $500 m to ramp up Chennai unit

NEW DELHI: Ford India Motor, the fully-owned subsidiary of the US auto major Ford Motors, will be one of the major production hubs for the parent company’s operations in the Asia-African region, said Ford India MD and president Michael Boneham.

Ford India is investing $500 million to ramp up its Chennai plant’s production capacity to 2-lakh vehicles by 2010. These vehicles, including a new small car that will debut in the domestic market next year, will also be exported to Africa and the Asia-Pacific markets.

The US-based Ford Motors, which has not taken any financial bailout package from the US government like its peers GM and Chrysler, is developing China, Thailand and South Africa, as the other major manufacturing hubs. The Indian arm already exports partially made kits of the Ford Ikon that are assembled in South Africa as fully-made cars and the Fiesta mid-size sedan to South East Asia. It is also setting up a new engine plant with an initial capacity of 60,000 units that will also be exported to different overseas markets.

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