Gandhinagar, Jul 28: US carmaker Ford today inked an Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Gujarat government to set up an integrated manufacturing facility in Gujarat, having both vehicle and engine manufacturing plants, at Sanand near here at an investment of Rs 4,000 crore.
The MoU was signed between Gujarat's principal secretary (Industries) Maheshwar Sahu and Ford India President Michael Boneham, in the presence of Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi.
The company which is present in India through a wholly owned subsidiary Ford India, will set up two facilities, which include stamping, body paint and assembly operations for vehicle manufacturing, as well as machining and assembly operations for engine manufacturing.
“The investment by Ford would create 5,000 direct jobs and 25,000 indirect jobs in the state,” Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi told reporters, after the signing of MoU.
“The two facilities will be set up on 460 acres of land, and have initial vehicle manufacturing capacity of 2.4 lakh units and 2.70 lakh engines annually. They shall be up and running by 2014,” Ford India President Michael Boneham said.
The Ford company envisages exporting 25 per cent of the production, paving way for Gujarat to emerge as an automobile export hub, a Gujarat government official said.
The construction of the two plants is scheduled to begin by this year end.
“These new state-of-the-art facilities will help us reach the goal of increasing worldwide sales by nearly 50 per cent by mid decade to about eight million vehicles per year,” Ford President and CEO (Asia Pacific and Africa) Joe Hinrichs said.
Ford will start its operations just near Tata's Nano plant in Sanand.
The US car giant is introducing 50 new vehicles and power-trains to its Asia Pacific and Africa region by mid-decade. The company expects 60-70 per cent of growth to come from this region over the next 10 years.
“We are coming to participate in totality of the industry in India. We would be bringing Ford capabilities to markets like India, China and ASEAN to grow our business,” Hinrichs said.
“The products that will be coming to India will be from a broad portfolio, rest assured we will have number of small vehicles to compete in the market,” he said.
“We are looking to export Ford Figo to 50 markets around the world out of Chennai. So as we continue to grow our capabilities of our product portfolio in India we have options to export around the world,” Hinrichs said.
“By this year end we shall be exporting to 50 different countries. Currently we are exporting nearly 2,500 to 3,000 units per month,” Ford India President Michael Boneham told PTI.
Ford is currently exporting to around 19 countries like Mexico, Baharain, Kenya.
With the announcement to invest over USD one billion at Sanand in two plants, Ford's investment in India is set to cross USD 2 billion.
Ford's investment in Asia Pacific region has climbed to over USD 4 billion with the announcements on expansions made in the recent past.
“Ford has announced a pre-tax profit of 5.7 billion USD and most of it comes from North America currently. But, over next one decade 60-70 per cent of our growth shall come from Asia Pacific and Africa region,” Hinrichs said. PTI