Work to set up Ford India Sanand plant began on 5th September 2011, when Narendra Modi was Chief Minister of Gujarat. Today, about three and a half years later, the plant is set to get operational.
Kumar Galhotra, vice president, Product Development, Ford Asia Pacific and Africa and Michael Boneham, President and Managing Director, Ford India at the Ford Sanand plant ground breaking ceremony on 5th September 2011. Today, Kumar Galhotra is Ford Motor Company Vice President and President, Lincoln; while Michael Boneham has retired.
Constructed at an investment of $1 billion (INR 6,278 crores), the new Ford India plant has a production capacity of 2,40,000 cars and 2,70,000 engines per annum. This means, once the Sanand plant is fully operational, together with Ford India Chennai plant, they will have a production capacity of more than 600,000 engines and 440,000 cars annually.
Ford Figo hatchback and Ford Figo compact sedan will be the first two cars to roll off production ramps at the Ford India Sanand plant. Figo sedan is slated for launch in July 2015 while the Figo hatchback will be launched in September 2015.
Ford India Sanand plant, situated on a 460 acre site located near Tata Motor’s Nano car factory, is the company’s second plant in India after their facility in Maraimalai Nagar, Chennai. This new plant will offer direct employment to 5,000 persons, while even before official opening, it is learnt that over 10 vendors have already set up shop in the close vicinity.
Ford India is also keen to expand export markets from a current 50 to 100 or 120 in the not too distant future. This expansion plan is a part of the ‘One Ford’ global product policy with the Ford India Sanand plant acting as the major export hub.
Gujarat Chief Minister Anandiben Patel will inaugurate the Ford India’s Sanand plant today in the presence of US Ambassador to India, Richard Rahul Verma. The LIVE webcast of Ford India Sanand plant inauguration can be witnessed below, which will commence at 10 AM, India time.
UPDATE – The LIVE webcast feed is no longer active. Below are the two reports from the historic event today.