Ford Motor Company Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Mark Fields would visit India in March to inaugurate the company's second manufacturing unit at Sanand, Gujarat. Fields also visited India in June 2014, a month prior to his appointment as Ford CEO, and was the first international company head to meet PM Narendra Modi. The Sanand production facility has already begun trials, and the new Figo based sedan and Figo hatch would be manufactured here.
“Fields’ upcoming visit and the several visits by other senior Ford executives, including Mulally, makes it clear that India is not only a key market but a major export base for cars and engines,” a source close to the development told Business Standard. Responding to emailed queries, a Ford India spokesperson said, “Ford’s Sanand plant in Gujarat is gearing to be fully operational, with vehicles and engines rolling off the assembly line by the end of the first quarter in 2015. A formal communication on the plant’s inauguration along with executive availability will be made at an appropriate time. We would not like to comment on speculation at this point.”
Fields, a Ford veteran with over 25 years in the company and its affiliates like Mazda, is continuing with his predecessor Alan Mulally’s policy of seeking growth in emerging markets, especially India. Ford India would launch three fresh products in 2015 in India, and out of which Figo based sub 4-m sedan would roll out first in June, followed by the hatchback later in and around September. The company would also launch the new Endeavour SUV in the country by the end of 2015. Currently, Ford's Chennai plant has the capacity to 200,000 cars and 340,000 engines, and the Gujrat plant would have a capacity of 240,000 cars and 270,000 engines. Hence, the US-based automaker has done enough to ensure that there is no demand-supply gap, ever.