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Ford India ceases manufacturing, final EcoSport rolls out | Autocar India

Written by Rashmi

The final made-in-India Ford car rolled off the Maraimalai Nagar plant ending Ford’s stint of producing vehicles and SUVs in India.

The curtains have closed on made-in-India Ford automobiles because the final unit of the EcoSport compact SUV, constructed for export markets, rolled off the manufacturing line at Ford’s Maraimalai Nagar facility. This ceases Ford India’s stint of creating vehicles and SUVs in India for home and export markets.

  • Ford entered the Indian market in 1994
  • Final unit of EcoSport has rolled off the Chennai manufacturing line
  • Sanand plant would possibly go to Tata, no taker for Chennai plant but

Ford: one other carmaker exits India

WIth the ultimate unit of the EcoSport rolling out, Ford turns into the third main carmaker to exit India after Normal Motors and Daewoo. Ford had introduced that it’ll cease promoting vehicles within the Indian market on September 9, 2021, however will proceed to construct automobiles for its export market commitments. The newer, extra superior Sanand facility in Gujarat was the primary to close store because the fashions produced there – the Figo and Aspire – had been slowly taken off the cabinets not simply in India, however abroad too attributable to lesser demand and finish of product life. This plant will likely be taken over by Tata Motors sooner or later.

Ford’s first plant in India, the Maraimalai Nagar facility in Tamil Nadu, was one of many main manufacturing services for the Ford EcoSport, and the carmaker continued manufacturing the EcoSport for abroad markets even after ending gross sales of its vehicles and SUvs in India. The made-in-India EcoSport was exported to a number of nations together with america. 

Whereas there have been a wide range of causes for Ford pulling the plug on its manufacturing operations in India at each vegetation, the important thing motive was that plant capability utilisation was unsustainably low. Each services, which may collectively produce greater than four lakh items yearly, had been solely managing 80,000 vehicles (round 20 % of the capability), with half of these being exported.

One other nail within the coffin was Ford’s failed partnership with Mahindra, which was introduced in 2019, however cancelled on December 31, 2020. The American model had wrapped its future in India round this three way partnership and its failure had a significant impression on Ford India.

Ford additionally confirmed that the model has collected over $2 billion (round Rs 16,000 crore) in working losses over the previous 10 years and demand for brand new automobiles had been weaker than forecasted. 

Ford had introduced that by Q2 2022 it will likely be closing down its manufacturing services altogether in India, and therefore, gained’t be producing fashions for export both. Though the model had introduced that it’ll proceed to depend on India-based suppliers for elements for its world merchandise.

The corporate was earlier planning to complete its manufacturing of the pending items of the Ford EcoSport in June 2022. Nevertheless, employee unrest led to delays and the deadline was prolonged until the top of this month.

Ford India: authorities’s PLI scheme not possible

Six months after Ford introduced its exit from the Indian market, the firm introduced that it was “exploring the opportunity of utilizing a plant in India as an export base for EV manufacturing” below the authorities’s PLI scheme.

Ford, nevertheless, dropped out of this scheme too because the manufacturing capability at its Chennai facility may pose a long run problem for manufacturing worldwide. Ford is betting large on the EV enterprise and would have ideally wanted extra capability to make this a actuality.

The EcoSport went on sale in India again in 2013 and was a trendsetter so far as under-four-meter compact SUVs go. Ford managed to promote over two lakh items of the compact SUV globally by 2015. The SUV, throughout its life cycle in India, obtained a number of updates with one other one being within the pipeline earlier than Ford determined to wrap up its India ops.

Is that this the ultimate good bye for Ford India?

The transfer to stop manufacturing and gross sales fully in India has certainly resulted in far lesser contact factors for Ford, which is able to have an effect on current prospects to some extent. The model had stated that it’ll concentrate on bringing its fully-imported fashions to India sooner or later, nevertheless, there hasn’t been any replace on that entrance but.

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Rashmi