GUJARAT: American auto major Ford aims to triple exports from India over the next five years with its new USD 1 billion plant here becoming operational.
The plant, the company's second in the country, which was inaugurated by Gujarat Chief Minister Anandiben Patel here today, will also double its production capacity in India.
"With manufacturing facilities in Chennai and Sanand, we expect to triple our exports from India in the next five years," Ford Motor President and CEO Mark Fields told reporters here.
At present, Ford India exports around 60,000 to 70,000 units annually to over 35 global markets from its Chennai-based facility.
With this new plant, the company is targeting a total of 50 export markets.
The Sanand plant, which has come up in an area of 460 acres, Fields said, will also double the company's production capacity in India.
"The plant has an installed capacity of 2.4 lakh vehicles and 2.7 lakh engines annually. Ford India will now have a total installed capacity of rolling out 4.4 lakh vehicles and 6.1 lakh engines every year," he added.
Elaborating on the new plant, Fields said the company would start manufacturing its new compact sedan Figo Aspire from the facility later this year.
Ford India President and Managing Director Nigel Harris said the plant is a major step for the company to become a major manufacturer of high quality small cars for local and global markets.
"The new plant will not only help us grow business in India but would also help to make India as an export hub," he added.
Chief Minister Anandiben Patel said the new plant has given employment to over 4,000 people directly and another 2,000 from ancillary units around the facility.
Gujarat is becoming an automobile manufacturing hub with the likes of Tata Motors and Maruti Suzuki setting up their plants in the state.