Ford India was under a looming storm for a long time, non-satisfactory production output and the dated line-up is to blame. What was looking like a possibility recently has been confirmed, Ford to shut manufacturing in India. In a nutshell, both the Sanand and Maraimalai production sites will be closed and exports will be stopped, however, Ford will continue its range of cars and SUVs from the global lineup via the CBU imports.
Ford India stepped into the Indian market in 1994 and after 27 years, the company has decided to pull the plug on local manufacturing. To sustain the production costs, Ford and Mahindra & Mahindra signed a JV to co-engineer products but the JV was called off in December 2020. As the JV between the carmakers didn’t work out, Ford started to look for contract manufacturing for Ola and other automotive manufacturers but that didn’t go through either.
Ford to Shut Manufacturing in India
Ford to cease the production for India with immediate effect whereas the export production will be ceased in Q4 of 2021. Ford is said to continue the engine production and assembly plants in Chennai till Q2 of 2022. Ford’s Sanand facility was engineered to maintain the global Ford standards and both the facilities combined, are capable of manufacturing 4,00,000 units annually. However, Ford has only managed to produce around 80,000 cars annually, half of which accounts for the exports. The operating costs of such high-class manufacturing facilities are exorbitant and selling the ageing line-up in the Indian market is tough, given the high competition among the manufacturers.
However, Ford is not pulling the plug on the Indian market though, as the brand is said to continue sales with niche CBU imports like Mustang, Ranger pick-up, Bronco SUV and future EV models. Ford was expected to launch the EcoSport facelift recently but as the production is going to stop, that seems highly unlikely. Ford India was caught testing the EcoSport facelift multiple times on the Indian roads with production-ready design changes. Ford recently also launched the Figo AT at attractive prices that garnered good customer response. Ford is yet to confirm its winding-up procedure and how the customers and dealership owners will be served after the shutdown.
If you found this story interesting, make sure to check out more such stories on the Carorbis Blog and also read Tesla Homologates Four EV Models for India – Launch imminent