Ford to make India its export hub, says CEO Alan Mulally

 PTI   Chennai     Last Updated: June 13, 2014  | 12:09 IST
Ford CEO Alan Mulally
Ford CEO Alan Mulally with the company's SUV Ecosport. (Photo: Reuters)

Terming India among the fastest growing markets, US-based carmaker Ford has said it has decided to make the country as its export hub.

"We have decided that India will be an export hub for Ford. We are exporting to over 50 countries from here and are increasing it overtime," Ford Motor President and Chief Executive Officer Alan Mulally said.

Ford India has two manufacturing plants in the country - one in Gujarat and another at Maraimalai Nagar near Chennai.

"It is because our (Ford India) operations are great, our quality is great and our efficiency is great. It's just that the location of India is great for us (to look for exports)," Mulally, who is set to retire from the company after eight years of service later this month, told reporters.

Asked whether Ford India met his expectations, he said: "Remember Ford was in trouble in September eight years ago. We had the worst report in 2006. I remind you there was $17 billion loss to the company. If you are in business, you are going to have brackets around your numbers (net losses). We grew decisively. Not only we survived but are also prospering now.

"As soon as we attained profitability, we turned our attention to Asia Pacific. Our investments have been tremendous in India and China. These are the fastest growing markets in the world," Mulally said.

Asked on what would be his advice to Chief Operating Officer Mark Fields who is tipped to replace him, Mulally said, "My advice (to him) will be to stay on the 'One Ford' plan. That transformation is one of the biggest transformation in the history (of Ford)."

On what difference he made in the company during his eight-year stint, he said the focus was on seven aspects, including making Ford serve all markets worldwide.

"Number two, we focused on the Ford brand. Third reason was our commitment to customers; fourth was on delivering better quality and fuel efficient vehicles; fifth to operate as one global company; sixth to always produce to the demand; seventh is financing plan... we have restructured our business and now have repaid all of $23.5 billion."

Earlier, Mulally met the 3,600 employees working at the Ford plant and the company's business service division here.

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