Ford India to accelerate export strategy
Automobile major Ford Motor Company announced on Thursday an accelerated export strategy in India to adapt to the country's changing market conditions and strong global demand for small cars and sport utility vehicles.
Working to match production with demand, Ford India will focus increasingly on production for export to more than 50 markets around the world. Over the next four to five years, due to the flexibility of its One Ford plan, Ford India will have the ability to export a substantial portion of its total production volume.
"As we undergo our biggest industrial expansion in half-a-century in Asia Pacific, we remain committed to the One Ford goal of delivering profitable growth for all," said Dave Schoch, Ford group vice president and president of Asia Pacific, speaking at the annual convention of the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) in New Delhi.
"Despite current macroeconomic factors and ongoing market challenges, India is a big part of our global strategy. Exports from India have always been an integral part of that strategy and will help us to stay on track for turbocharged growth in the region, while going further to provide our customers with the vehicles that they want and value."
The growth of India as a manufacturing base comes as smaller vehicles, such as those produced at Ford's Chennai manufacturing plant, form an increasingly important part of the company's product line-up.
Ford expects that by 2020, demand for small vehicles will account for more than 60pc of the automobile market globally, and Asia Pacific and Africa about half global industry volume.
In India alone, Ford expects industry demand for B-segment vehicles to double, and demand for sport utility and multi activity vehicles to triple, between 2012 and 2017.
"What we've seen in India - with over 40,000 orders since the launch of the all-new EcoSport, and with the recent celebration of the 300,000th Figo - shows the incredible market demand for vehicles in these segments," said Schoch.
"As part of the One Ford plan, we're significantly increasing our Asia Pacific production capacity to meet the growing demand in this part of the world."
With the addition of a new manufacturing facility and an engine plant in Sanand to complement existing production in Chennai, Ford India will have a annual production capacity of 440,000 vehicles and 610,000 engines.
Ford is also working to further localize content throughout the value chain in India.
"We look forward to working with our dealers and suppliers in India, as well as our partners in government to serve the needs of more customers across the Asia-Pacific region," said Schoch.
"While we're realigning our production, we're more committed than ever to India as a manufacturing base and a growing market for our products."
(Posted on 05-09-2013)