Ford India’s expansion plans have its upcoming factory Sanand in Gujarat in key position as the new manufacturing unit will be the birthplace of the next-gen Figo hatchback and new Figo based compact sedan. While the plant will begin commercial production in early 2015, it appears that the company has already started testing its baby limbs.
As per a report published in Business Standard, Ford India is believed to have started trial production of the Next-Gen Figo and/or Figo+ (the compact sedan based on the new Figo). As per the company’s management though, the plant is gearing to be operational by the end of 2014. Very recently, the first and only spyshot of the next-gen Figo (known as Ka in Brazil) surfaced, but from Pune, confirming that Ford has started testing the new cars in India. The company will be divulging more details about the products set to be coming out of the assembly line.
After the success of the EcoSport, capacity expansion is most probably the first thing in the list of Ford’s expansion plans in India. Along with the existing plant in Chennai, Ford’s total output in India will rise to 6,10,000 engines and 4,40,000 vehicles annually. This pegs the output of the new Sanand plant to be at 2.7 lakh engines and 2.4 lakh cars per year. Now that’s 1 billion dollars well spent.
Ford’s key suppliers have also shifted their base to Sanand and as per the report, they have invested approximately Rs 500 crore in this move. The level of automation will also be very high in the new plant, thus reducing the margin of error, and will probably the most automated car manufacturing plant across Asia-Pacific and African countries.
This new plant will hopefully help in not just reducing the waiting period of Ford EcoSport and upcoming new cars but also increase the exports which have been hit due to a strong domestic demand.