Ford Motor Co. has a $72-million plan to increase production capacity for diesel engines at its Chennai, India, powertrain plant, to supply domestic demand and export initiatives. The project will be completed by mid 2012, and raise output by 80,000 units to 330,000 per year.
According to Ford the project will increase its total capital investment in India above $1 billion. It also supports Ford’s agenda to introduce eight new vehicle models to the Indian market by 2015. Ford builds and distributes three models in India — Endeavour, Fiesta Classic and the Figo. Ford’s new global Fiesta sedan will begin production there later this year.
Ford India is a wholly owned subsidiary of Ford Motor Co. that manufactures cars and engines made at an integrated plant near Chennai, at Maraimalai Nagar. The assembly plant was established in 1995 and powertrain production began in 2008. It produces its 100,000th engine in 2010.
In addition to manufacturing, Ford India maintains IT, accounting and finance, financial services, and automotive operations support, analytics, and engineering services at operations in Chennai and Coimbatore.
Currently the Chennai complex produces five Ford Duratec gasoline engine variants and one Duratorq diesel engine variant, and it runs a flexible crankshaft production line that delivers shafts for gas and diesel engines.
When the planned expansion is complete next year, Ford India will add a third shift of operation and about a 300 new workers. Currently, Ford India has about 10,000 employees.
"This investment reinforces the importance of our Chennai plant and Ford's continued expansion in India," stated Ford India president and managing director Michael Boneham. "This expansion will allow us to provide more technologically advanced and fuel-efficient engines to our customers in India and in markets around the world where we export Chennai-built vehicles."