Ford to invest $13 billion for business centre in India

“India is not only a vibrant market for cars and new mobility ideas, it also is rich with talent, technical expertise and ingenuity,” said Bill Ford

The leading multinational automaker Ford has announced that the company will launch a new global technology and business centre in Chennai.

Reportedly, Ford will invest $13 billion (1,300 crore) over the next five years, in the facility which will be a hub for product development, mobility solutions and business services for India and export markets. The 28 acre facility in Chennai will be operational in 2019, adding 3,000 employees in Chennai.

Dearborn, Michigan-based Ford has already invested over $2 billion in India, and will bring in 9,000 employees from other centres, taking the staff to massive 12,000 in the south-Indian centre, the statement said.

“India is not only a vibrant market for cars and new mobility ideas, it also is rich with talent, technical expertise and ingenuity,” Bill Ford, executive chairman of Ford, said in the statement. He further claimed that the Chennai facility will be Ford’s second-largest centre of employment globally.

The Chennai-based centre will be the car maker’s second-largest technology setup outside its global headquarters, and will include laboratories and testing facilities for vehicles and components, to enable Ford to test future products in India. The new centre will also include teams working on advanced financial analysis and future data analytics, the company said.

It has been claimed that Ford is focusing on emerging markets like India where small, inexpensive yet powerful cars are popular and which is dominated by brands from Maruti Suzuki India Ltd and Hyundai Motor Co. The reports expect India to become the world’s third-largest market by 2020 therefore, global car makers want a bigger share of the pie, according to IHS Automotive.

Currently Ford has 2 plants in India – in Chennai and Sanand with a total annual capacity is about 4.40 lakh units. In the current fiscal’s April-September 2016 period, the company has sold a total of 46,422 units and exported 73,821 units.

Earlier in September 2016 at the Ford Investor Day in Dearborn, William Clay Ford (JR) said, “Ford is taking a new look at how to lead in select emerging markets. The company sees Russia and South America positioned for recovery, ASEAN remaining profitable and a path to profitable growth in Middle East and Africa. As it pushes for a path to profitability in all emerging markets, Ford is re-evaluating its strategy and business model for India.”