A few weeks ago, it was reported that Ford is shutting down independent operations in India. Going forward, they will only exist in the domestic market via their partner Mahindra, who will not only help them develop cars, but will also sell their cars in their own dealership.
Today, a new report by Economic Times revealed that Ford has no plans of shutting down operations in India. Instead, the company is planning on investing another $1 billion in India, as part of its global restructuring process. This investment will be divided in two. One half will be used to develop two new SUVs, independently. And the other half will be used for their association with Mahindra in India. This has been named ‘Project Black’.
The two independent SUVs which Ford is developing for India are codenamed BX744 and BX745. Of the two, BX744 is 100% India-specific, while the BX745 is a global SUV, which focuses on developing markets like India, China and Brazil. The report states that BX744 will be a sub 4 meter Ford SUV, which will take on the Maruti Brezza. Considering that Ford already has EcoSport in that segment, it may be possible that this BX744 is either a new gen EcoSport for India, or EcoSport replacement SUV for India.
The second SUV which Ford is working on along with Mahindra, is the BX7445. This is a global car, which will be bigger than 4 meter in length. It will take on the likes of Hyundai Creta, which is known as ix25 in China. The report states that the launch of BX744 SUV will take place in 2021, while that of BX745 will take place in 2022. Apart from petrol and diesel engine options, both SUVs are expected to be future-tech ready, and would also be offered with hybrid and all electric option.
Other development reported is that Ford will phase out exports from India to European countries. The reason being, stringent emission norms in Europe. UK has already announced that they are no longer taking new orders for India-made Figo.
Speaking about plans to exit India, the ET report states that it is out of the question. Instead, Ford and Mahindra JV making inroads in global markets is also a possibility. Mahindra may also use either of the Ford plants in the future to manufacture their cars. The first Ford SUV which is developed by Mahindra, is expected to be launched in 2021. Reports suggest it will be based on new gen XUV500 platform, and powered by a 2 liter diesel engine offering 180 hp power. On the above speculated report, Ford India has stated that they do not comment on future plans.