Ford has set itself some ambitious plans for the Indian market. The carmaker will be investing around INR 5000 crore on a new research & development centre in Chennai. Public reveal of this new centre will be made in the seconds half of 2015. Ford India will sign the agreement with the Tamil Nadu government in the coming few months. The American carmaker’s investment in India seems quite substantial, with the company having pumped in a billion dollars just recently. This capital went towards Ford’s brand new manufacturing facility in Sanand, Gujarat.
Upcoming new Figo siblings will be made at the new Sanand plant in Gujarat.
Ford CEO Mark Fields thinks highly of India and believes there’s loads of engineering talent in the country. The 5000 crore rupee investment would be mostly focussed on the upbringing of Ford’s product development in India. Fields agrees that this methodological process will take time, but thinks the country holds much promise for the carmaker. The most exciting news to come out of this big investment, is the predicted development of the so-called B500 project. This project will lead to the birth of an all-new mid-size saloon which will compete with the Honda City (among others) when launched. However, this new car is not to be launched until somewhere in 2018.
The new car shall replace the outgoing Fiesta saloon.
With the financial backing, Ford India could also develop a new MPV. Ford’s new R&D centre in Chennai will become one of the company’s largest in the Asia-Pacific region. Crucially, this new centre will also be part of the Global Product Development Ecosystem. This means that the R&D team at Ford India will provide their inputs for future models and applies for global and domestic products. The new centre will also help Ford India drive the prices of their cars down, thanks to increased localisation and inputs from their Chennai-based development centre.
via ET auto