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Ford Motor Co is planning to make an add on investment of about USD 1 billion in Indian operations over the next five to seven years as it restructures and /or exits its key businesses around globe over. By doing so, they will make India am operating base, and will make more investments in the country.
According to Economic Times Auto, Even though the Indian passenger vehicle market ground to its slowest growth in recent years during the financial year 2019, Ford is planning to make the India the epicenter of its long term global strategy, said people from the industry with knowledge of the plan.
At least USD 500 million will go toward investments for research & development, project planning, and production line construction. Part of this investment will also be pushed towards two SUVs that will be developed by Ford's India Center.
An additional $400-500 million will be pushed towards 'Project Black' which is in partnership with Mahindra & Mahindra. The two companies had announced plans for a C-segment SUV last month.
This highlights Ford's two pronged strategy — one on its own, and in partnership with Mahindra. The two SUVs, codenamed BX744 and BX745, are scheduled to be launched during 2021 and 2022 respectively. The BX744 is an India-spec sub-4-meter SUV, while the 745 is a global project, built for India, and also for overseas markets like China and Brazil, and other emerging markets. It's aimed at challenging the likes of Hyundai Creta and Renault Duster.
A Ford India spokesperson said, "The company does not comment on future product and investment road map. This investment highlights Ford's commitment to India following reports that it was reviewing its presence in the market."
"India plays an important role for Ford headquarters, especially from an emerging market cluster perspective. This is a departure from its earlier stand of catering mostly to evolved markets. Beyond independently penetrating the Indian market, Ford is looking at ways and means of participating in the global emerging market in tandem with Mahindra," said the person. "A partial JV may not be ruled out... maybe one of the plants, but exiting is definitely out of question," he added.
Thoughts About Ford Motor Co's Plans Of Investing USD 1 Billion In India
Of course! Ford has been in India for over twenty years now and they were never in a hurry to break even. They spent the entire 20 understanding the local market, and also understanding international markets from a 'based in India' perspective. They finally turned profitable, and to such an extent they want to re-invest. They're also the first auto manufacturer to have stated that they will upgrade their entire fleet of diesel engines to meet BS-VI norms. Now that is commitment! I want a Ford now! We all should.