Ford will invest nearly $1 billion in India in a bid to gain ground in what many see as a market that could potentially rival the long-term growth of China.
Most of that money – about $900 million – will go for a new plant, the company’s second, that could boost Ford’s Indian production capacity from the current 240,000 vehicles a year to 600,000. The announcement comes as Ford begins expanding its product portfolio with the Indian launch of the Fiesta, its global subcompact.
“We don’t see the fundamentals changing here in India and the rest of Asia, and that is that growth is going to be the order of the day,” said Michael Boneham, head of Ford’s Indian operations.
Earlier this year, Ford CEO Alan Mulally outlined an aggressive growth plan that calls for boosting worldwide sales to 8 million this decade, a 50% jump. The executive stressed the importance of the Asia/Pacific region in meeting that goal.