Ford to Invest US $72bn in Chennai Engine Plant to Increase Production

According to a recently released statement from the Ford Motor Co., the auto giant has decided to make an investment of around US $72mn for increasing the production capacity at their Chennai based engine plant. This move comes as the company aims to support their growing export and sales in India.

As a result of the investment, the production capacity at the engine plant will increase to producing 330,000 units per annum from the earlier 250,000 units, which is an increase of around 80,000 diesel engines per annum.

The managing director and president of the company, Michael Boneham said that this investment will help to reinforce the significance of their Chennai plant as well as their continued expansion efforts in India. The expansion will let them produce more fuel efficient and technologically advanced engines to their Indian customers as well as in markets worldwide wherever their Chennai built models are exported to.

With the expansion at their Chennai plant, Ford’s overall investment in the Indian auto market will increase to around US $1bn. Boneham added that this expansion will support their aim of introducing eight of their global models in the Indian market by 2015. after this expansion is complete, they will be adding a third shift to their plant will which create above 300 jobs. This investment is part of Ford India’s strategy to transform it to a global manufacturer and export hub, with Duratorq, 1.4 HC and 1.6 TiVCT engines being exported from the country.

The announcement of this expansion was their latest milestone in the company’s productive and busy year at their Maraimalai Nagar engine facility. Last March, its employees and managers celebrated the plants 100,000th engine production, an important milestone achieved in just 14 months after it began productions in January, 2010.

This plant is the company’s first facility to have a single and flexible production line to manufacture diesel and petrol engines. It is also their first plant which runs a flexible crank shaft line of production, producing crank shafts for diesel and petrol engines.

This Chennai based engine plant currently produces around 5 Duratec petrol motor variants as well as one diesel Duratec engine variant for its Ford models. The plant is also getting ready to produce engines for the company’s new global Fiesta sedan. 4,000 1.6l and 1.4l India built petrol engines have been exported since June, 2010 to Thailand. Since 2008, diesel engines have also been exported to the South African market, while Ford also plans to export diesel and petrol India-built engines to newer markets in the future.

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