Just after congratulating Donald Trump on his victory and expressing cautious optimism about working with the president-elect, who plans renegotiate NAFTA and slap a tariff on any vehicles imported from Mexico, Ford announced it was investing $195 million in India.
The automaker is seeking to expand its mobility offerings is plowing nearly $200 million into a new global technology and business center in Chennai, India, which will serve as a base for product development, mobility offerings and services for India and other global markets.
“India is not only a vibrant market for cars and new mobility ideas, it also is rich with talent, technical expertise and ingenuity,” Ford Executive Chairman Bill Ford, who was in India for the announcement, said in a statement.
“This new center will help us attract the best and brightest, and make Chennai a true hub of innovation for Ford around the world.”
While halfway around the world, he also took the time to congratulate the new president.
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“We agree with Mr. Trump that it is really important to unite the country – and we look forward to working together to support economic growth and jobs,” Ford, which congratulated Trump, said in a statement.
Despite the election result, Ford’s plan to expand its stake in the second-most populous country in the world is critical as India expected to grow to become the third-largest car market by 2020.
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The Dearborn, Michigan-based automaker expects to add 3,000 employees in Chennai during the next five years. In the long term, the center employ 12,000 people. Ford plans to shift 9,000 employees from six facilities in Chennai onto the 28-acre campus, which is expected to open in 2019.
Ford’s third global product development center in the Asia Pacific region, the campus also will house employees working in information technology, accounting, data and manufacturing as well as labs to test future vehicles in India.
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Ford has spent more than $2 billion since its entry into the Indian market in 1995 to expand manufacturing and sales and service. The company also has used India as a center to make small cars and engines and exports them to other global countries.