American carmaker Ford Motor Company is readying to export Indian-built engines to Europe, leveraging its increasing capacity in the country where it is investing more than $2 billion to build a new factory at Sanand in Gujarat.
"We would have a cumulative capacity to build 4,50,000 cars and 6,00,000 engines in India by 2015. We plan to export Indian-built engines to Europe as per the market demand," said Gary Johnson, vice-president (manufacturing) Asia Pacific and Africa.
The company's wholly-owned Indian subsidiary, Ford India, exports 40% of its engines and 25% of cars to 35 countries across the globe. The carmaker, which ships its compact hatchback Figo to Mexico and South Africa, plans to expand in the other markets as it launches new cars in India. Its dual engine and vehicle making plant at Sanand is expected to get operational by late 2014.
Ford is launching two models, including the compact sports utility vehicle EcoSport, in India as part of a product offensive to counter slumping sales in the region. The company hopes that its capacity expansion will help it compete better in the domestic market with its bigger rivals Maruti Suzuki, Hyundai Motor and Tata Motors.
Michael Boneham, president of Ford India, said the Indian market is expected to generate major volumes and may grow to 5 million cars by 2015. "We are looking at introducing several new cars in the Indian market. Notwithstanding the current slowdown in the Indian market, we are expecting to post steady growth with big volume generation across segments," he said.
Ford plans to build nine new plants in the Asia-Pacific region and roll out 50 new vehicles and powertrains by 2015, as it expects this region to contribute 70% to its global growth over the next decade.
Besides its two plants in India, Ford is setting up five new plants in China and two in the ASEAN block with a cumulative investment of about $4.9 billion. These three regions will serve as its main manufacturing hubs in Asia. At the same time, it is reducing its operations in Europe and scaling down production in tandem with the shrinking demand in the continent.
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