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Ford to make India an exports hub

May 02, 2008 17:58 IST
US carmaker Ford Motor Co, which aims to enter the Indian small car market by 2010, plans to make the country a regional hub for exports, both for the cars and engines.

"While our primary focus will remain the domestic market in India, we have plans to export the small car and also the engines that we produce in India to Ford's other markets," Ford India president-designate Michael Boneham said.

Ford had earlier this year announced a $500 million expansion programme in India, which includes setting of a greenfield small car plant with a capacity of 2 lakh units and expanding the engine production capacity to 2.5 lakh from the current 60,000 units.

When asked if Ford had decided the markets to where it plans to export from India, Boneham said, "Ford Asia Pacific Region could be a very significant market, but we have not decided on any specific market as of now."

He said as the company expands its engine production capacity in India, Ford would also be increasing localisation levels up to 85 per cent by 2010.

"Currently we export from Europe and when we achieve that level of localisation, the cost advantage could be in the range of 10-15 per cent," he said, adding Ford would be producing both petrol and diesel engines.

Commenting on the small car, he said it would not compete with Tata's Rs 1 lakhs car 'Nano', but "will be a value for money product."

Michael Bonehan has been named as Ford India's new President.  He would succeed Aravind Mathew, who had been appointed as the leader of the global product development of the Ford Motor Company and would be responsible for relocating Ford Motor's world headquarters in Dearborn, Michigan, United States.

Both appointments would be effective from June 1 next. Bonehan said he would like to work towards introducing new models of Ford in the country.

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