According to senior officials from the Gujarat state government, Ford India is likely to officially announce that their second plant will be in Gujarat within a period of one or two months.
The company already has a manufacturer plant in Tamil Nadu, and will soon give fellow automaker GM company in Gujarat. This plant will have a production capacity of around 4 lakh units per annum after an investment of INR 5,000 crores.
A government official of Gujarat state was quoted as saying that though some auto manufacturers like Hero Honda and Peugeot have held meetings with them, their deal with Maruti and Ford is more concrete. While Maruti have announced their plans, Ford is likely to finalise within 1 or 2 months.
He further said that they are likely to select a location under the state’s industrial development corporation, which they were shown at Sanand. The plot is about 400 acres. Another manufacturer Tata Motors has dedicated a plant in the same area for building the Nano.
Of late, Gujarat is seeing a lot of interest from auto manufacturers, with many already operating here, like GM at Halol, Atul Auto at Rajkot and Asia Motorworks truck manufacturer at Bhuj.
The official said that Ford was show three separate sites, at Dholera, Halol and Sanand. The company is most likely to opt for the plot at Sanand because of it is near to Ahmedabad and has good infrastructure.
Another industry expert said that Ford will most probably opt for Gujarat because apart from a positive investment environment and good infrastructure, they also have two big ports at Kandla and Mundra, which can be used for exports. While conventional auto hubs of Gurgaon and Chennai have are facing workers strikes, Gujarat has weathered this situation quite well. Ford is also likely to make the India their global manufacturer centre for small cars. As of now, the company has invested around $600mn in India.
Other than Gujarat, Ford had also evaluated the Chakan plot close to Pune, Maharashtra to build their second plant. Other auto manufacturers who have facilities in Chakan are Mercedes-Benz, Bajaj Auto and Volkswagen.