Ford announced that they plan to triple exports from India. To help meet this goal, the company is investing $1 billion (with a ‘b’) in a factory that will be almost entirely automated. The factory opened March 26th.
With the new factory, Ford expects production capacity to increase to 610,000 engines and 440,000 vehicles annually. There isn’t any word on how long it will take for exports to triple. India has long been a market for small vehicles and Ford recognizes the challenge ahead.
“India is very cost competitive, which is important particularly for small vehicles,” Ford Chief Executive Mark Fields told reporters.
Maruti Suzuki currently dominates the small car segment but with Ford entering the competition, things are going to get heated. Another top competitor, Honda, has also managed to hold a good amount of the Asian market.
In 2014, Ford sold 77,140 vehicles in India. Maruti Suzuki sold 81,564 vehicles in the month of December. Experts predict the auto market in India will increase by 6% to 8% annually over the next few years. Ford expects its sales in India to double by 2020. With three new model introductions in the next 18 months, we’re betting that’s in the realm of possibility.
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