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Ford increases capacity at Chennai plant by 80,000 units

Ford has increased engine production from its Chennai plant to 3.30 lakh units per annum, an increase of 80,000 units from its earlier 2.50 lakh units.

BT Online Bureau   Chennai     Last Updated: July 18, 2012  | 12:00 IST

Ford, the US-based car maker, has increased engine production from its Chennai plant to 3.30 lakh units per annum, an increase of 80,000 units. Ford India, the wholly-owned subsidiary of Ford Motor Company, was earlier producing 2.50 lakh units at the plant.

The increase in capacity is part of a $72 million expansion that the company had announced last year.

Ford commenced producing engines from their Chennai plant from 2008, with an initial capacity of 60,000 units.

"In 2011, we announced we will make an investment of $72 million (to expand) by 80,000 units. We are celebrating our 4,00,000th engines out of our engine facility," Ford India, President and Managing Director Michael Boneham told reporters at the facility in Maraimalai Nagar, about 60kms from Chennai.

The new facility was completed in 14 months and creates capacity in manufacturing over additional 80,000 diesel engines annually. The ongoing expansion has already let to hiring of 200 employees.

Ford produces 17 variants of its models from the Chennai plant, he said, adding the engine plant is "flexible" to produce both diesel and petrol engines from an integrated line. Expansion of engine facilities comes at a time when the car major has plans to roll out eight new models by 2015.

Boneham said 80 per cent of diesel engines manufactured from the Chennai plant are for the domestic market and 90 per cent petrol engines for export markets.

The company early this year unveiled its compact SUV Ford Ecosport which Boneham said would have a 80 per cent localisation at the time of launch. He said 40 per cent of the engines produced are exported to Asia Pacific and African markets.

Ford will also have an engine facility at their new plant in Gujarat, which would commence production early 2014. Both the Chennai and Gujarat plants would have a total capacity of producing 6.10 lakh units per year, Boneham said.

Ford India produces Ford Figo, Fiesta Classic, Fiesta and Ford Endeavour from the Chennai manufacturing plant spread across 330 acres.

With inputs from PTI

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