Ford increases capacity at Chennai plant by 80,000 units

Ford increases capacity at Chennai plant by 80,000 units Chennai: US car-maker Ford on Tuesday said it has increased engine production from its plant here to 3.30 lakh units per annum.

Ford India, wholly-owned subsidiary of Ford Motor Company, was earlier producing 2.50 lakh units at the plant.

The increase in capacity is part of a USD 72 million expansion that the company had announced last year.

"In 2011, we announced we will make an investment of USD 72 million (to expand) by 80,000 units. We are celebrating our 4,00,000th engines out of our engine facility," Ford India, President and
Managing Director Michael Boneham told reporters at the facility in Maraimalai Nagar, about 60kms from here.

The new facility was completed in 14 months and creates capacity in manufacturing over additional 80,000 diesel engines annually.

The ongoing expansion has already let to hiring of 200 employees.

Ford commenced producing engines from their Chennai plant from 2008 onwards with an initial capacity of 60,000 units.

Boneham said 80 percent of diesel engines manufactured from the Chennai plant are for the domestic market and 90 percent petrol engines for export markets.

Ford produces 17 variants of its models from the Chennai plant, he said, adding the engine plant is "flexible" to produce both diesel and petrol engines from an integrated line. Expansion of engine facilities comes at a time when the car major has plans to roll out eight new models by 2015.

The company early this year unveiled its compact SUV Ford Ecosport which Boneham said would have an 80 percent localisation at the time of launch. He said 40 percent of the engines produced are exported to Asia Pacific and African markets.

Responding to a query, he said they would have an engine facility at their new plant in Gujarat. The plant would commence production early 2014. Both the Chennai and Gujarat plants would have a total capacity of producing 6.10 lakh units per year, he said.

Ford India produces Ford Figo, Fiesta Classic, Fiesta and Ford Endeavour from the Chennai manufacturing plant spread across 330 acres.

PTI