Ford India’s Chennai plant has started manufacturing petrol engines for its Figo hatchback which is around a few weeks away from an official launch. The press release issued by the manufacturer states that its plant will currently be used for producing and assembling the 1.2 liter and 1.4 liter engines which will power the Figo. Buyer demand will eventually decide which engine variant gets produced more once the car is launched. The plant has begun manufacturing the 1.2 liter petrol engines starting with the raw castings of the blocks, cylinder heads and crankshafts arriving from Indian and international suppliers for final machining. Around 70% parts of the diesel engine and 60% parts of the petrol engine are produced locally.
The press release quotes Micheal Boneham, President and Managing Director, Ford India, that this engine was created with a ‘best of the best’ approach. He also stated that Ford has benchmarked against other competitive facilities globally, as well as the current volume manufacturers in India for quality and production efficiency. The plant will also be utilized in manufacturing engines for the export variants of the Figo from 2011 onwards.
The plant is spread across more than 40,000 square metres and has an annual production capacity of 250,000 engines. As of now, a single production line is fully functional with a production capacity of over 60,000 engines. A new flexible line is currently being set up so that all engine variants including the 1.2 and 1.6 petrol and the 1.4 diesel engines can be built continuosly in a mixed flow. Ford has invested more than $500 million in its Chennai plant.