Aimed at making Chennai a major automobile export hub in the country, Ennore Port Ltd (EPL) Tuesday inked an agreement with US-based carmaker Ford for export of its cars through the port.
Ennore Port Ltd's Chairman and Managing Director M A Baskarachar exchanged the documents with Ford India Executive Director (Manufacturing) Tom Chackalackal in the presence of Union Shipping Minister G K Vasan here today.
Ford India has a manufacturing facility at nearby Maraimalai Nagar that rolls out models like hatchback Figo, sedan Fiesta Classic, global Fiesta, SUV Ecosport and premium SUV Endeavour.
"Recently, the Port signed a similar agreement with (Japanese automaker) Nissan Motor for exports of its cars using Ennore Port", Baskarachar said.
This is one of the important initiatives of Ford for its export plans, said Tom Chacklackal, adding, "We have started on a great note and look forward for a strong partnership with Ennore Port."
Vasan said the Port has developed a general cargo-cum-car terminal at a cost of Rs 140 crore, which includes a car parking yard spread across 35 acres and is the biggest car parking yard among major ports in the country.
"At a time, 10,000 cars can be parked and up to December, 2013 about 4.49 lakh automobile units have been shipped out of Ennore Port since September 2010," he said.
Besides Ford and Nissan, other automakers like Ashok Leyland, Toyota and Honda Cars India are also using Ennore Port for exports. The agreement is valid for a 10-year period.
Ennore Port offers various discounts in the range of 5-30 per cent to encourage exports.