Ford is looking to partner with another automotive brand for contract manufacturing at one of its production facilities in India
After the dissolution of its joint venture with Mahindra & Mahindra, Ford is looking to make a new alliance in India. The proposed Mahindra-Ford JV was one of the most highly anticipated and talked about partnerships in the Indian auto industry in recent times. However, discussions fell through and the joint venture was officially called off earlier this year.
The American auto brand is going through one of its toughest phases in the country. The company’s domestic sales have been reporting a steady decline for a long time now. Sales figures are not likely to improve significantly anytime soon as analysts state that Ford has no plans to make new investments in the country.
Ford Looking For New Partner
The Hindu Business Line reports, Ford is currently looking to partner with someone in India. The partnership will likely be for contract manufacturing at one of its facilities in the country. The report further states that the carmaker is in talks with multiple automakers including Citroen India. The French auto brand currently assembles C5 Aircross SUV at its plant in Thiruvallur, Tamil Nadu. A person close to this development has revealed that Ford was earlier in talks with MG Motor but the deal could not be sealed.
Ford Motor, through its subsidiary Ford India, locally manufactures and assembles cars as well as powertrains. This is done at their two factories, one in Chennai and the other in Sanand (Gujarat).
The Chennai-based facility is spread over 350 acres and has an annual production capacity of two lakh vehicles and 3.40 lakh engines. The company has invested more than $1 billion in this facility which rolls out the brand’s SUVs in India namely EcoSport and Endeavour.
The American carmaker has also spent over a billion dollars on the Sanand factory, which is spread over 460 acres. This facility has an annual production capacity of 2.40 lakh vehicles and 2.70 lakh engines. The plant manufactures models such as Figo, Aspire and Freestyle in the country.
According to the latest data published by Federation of Automobile Dealers Associations (FADA), Ford has witnessed retail sales volume of 2,790 units in June compared to 2,872 units sold during the same month last year. In May this year, the carmaker sold 1,671 units while in April this number stood at 4,214 units. Over the years, Ford’s India portfolio has dwindled due to lack of popularity.
Upcoming Ford Models
Ford is currently developing new generation models of its SUVs- EcoSport and Endeavour. The former is likely to launch in India by 2023/24 whereas the latter is likely to make its international debut next year. Ford is also planning to bridge the gap between these two SUVs by introducing a new C-segment SUV in India which will be based on Territory.