India Ford EcoSport launch and Sanand plant development on schedule
The new Ford India plant at Sanand, Gujarat is the company’s second plant in the country. Breaking ground in September 2011, the foundation for the same was laid in March 2012 and the construction of the plant is going ahead in full swing. This plant at an investment of INR 4,500 crores will have installed capacity of 240,000 cars and 270,000 engines while the Ford India plant in Chennai has capacity of 200,000 cars and 340,000 engines.
Ford’s Sanand plant is being constructed under the eagle eye of Kel Kearns, Ford’s Director of Manufacturing for the Sanand plant, who has been associated with the company for the past 18 years. He has been instrumental in setting up plants across the globe and has been overseeing the Sanand plant for the past two years, ensuring that construction is on schedule.
This new facility will have a press shop where steel coils will be stamped and cut into panels for the different body parts while the paint shop is also in advanced stages of completion. With nearly of one third construction work on the plant completed, Kel hopes that the plant will be completed by end of this year while it is expected to be commissioned in 2014 with first vehicles rolling out in early 2015.
While the plant gives us a fair idea of Ford’s plans for India, and scope for increase in exports, making India a more serious export hub, immediate and long term plans include the ‘One Ford’ initiate Indian auto market growth sees Ford launch 8 vehicles here by 2016. Currently, the wait is on for the Ford EcoSport urban utility vehicle launch, in other words compact SUV powered by the winning 1.0 L EcoBoost engine.