The made-in-India RHD Ford Ranger is likely to have export markets as primary focus even though it is likely to be launched in the domestic market in 2021
Jayem Automotive’s evolution from an auto component maker into a vehicle maker took flight with Jayem Tata Performance (JTP) sub-division. But the BS6 emission standards, compounded by the COVID-19 crisis, brought that dream run to an abrupt end as Tata Motors dissolved the JV by buying all the related assets.
However, the Coimbatore-based automotive firm has demonstrated its vehicle-building capability through this short-lived project and seems to have landed a new business. This time with Ford.
Ford Ranger pickup built by Jayem Automotive
Recently, a multiple Ford Ranger prototypes have been spotted in Coimbatore. Shortly after that, photos of several units of semi-assembled pickups being transported on trucks from Coimbatore to Chennai emerged. Now, we have learnt that the point of origin of these semi-finished trucks is Jayem Automotive’s facility in Ondipudur, Coimbatore. Hat tip to automotive enthusiast Anirudh, for sharing the photos.
The company which has been known for its association with Tata Motors has been in the auto components business for a long time. The partial assembly of Ford Ranger pickups appears to be Jayem’s second attempt at emerging into a vehicle manufacturer. We expect to have more details about the Jayem-Ford collaboration in the coming weeks.
Rationale behind making Ford Ranger pickup in India
The Ford Ranger pickup is essentially a workhorse version of the Endeavour SUV (Everest in some markets). Just like its SUV sibling, the RHD version of the Ranger is being primarily manufactured at Auto Alliance Thailand Co. plant which is partly owned by Mazda. The CKD kits for the India-spec Endeavour comes from this plant and we think the Ranger pickups spotted in India also adopt a similar route.
India is not exactly a lifestyle pickup friendly market, but it has been a strategic export base for Ford. In fact, before the shifting of Europe-spec EcoSport’s production to Romania, Ford India had been one of the leading automotive exporters from the country.
If we were to guess, Ford could have started assembling Ranger pickups in India in a bid to ease the pressure off its Thailand plant. The RHD variants that are built in India could be destined to export markets like South Africa, Sri Lanka, and so on.
As evident from the recent spy shots, the ladder-frame pickup truck starts taking shape at Jayem Automotive’s Coimbatore facility before being shipped to Ford’s Maraimalai Nagar plant for its final assembly alongside the Endeavour. As of now, the amount of local content in the premium pickup and Jayem Automotive’s extent of contribution remains unclear. All the units spotted so far are of double-cab configuration.
Launch in India
Since the Ford Ranger pickup is being assembled in India, it may as well be launched in the domestic market, although we suspect the primary focus will be export operations. We will be closely monitoring this development and get back to you as we know more. Stay tuned!