Ford India, a subsidiary of US-based Ford Motor Company, has begun trial runs at its Sanand site, which is likely to go onstream sometime in early 2015. According to sources, the company is testing a variant based on its Figo platform.
Ford is expected to start commercial production of vehicles at its upcoming Sanand facility sometime in the first quarter of 2015. The company said, "Our plans in Sanand are on track. The upcoming integrated manufacturing facility is gearing to be operational by end of 2014, with first product coming off-line in 2015."
While market sources claimed that the company is doing trial production runs for a model based on its Figo platform, Ford India, on its part, did not wish to comment on the same.
When asked, the company responded saying, "We would not like to share information on products being planned for Sanand and request you to wait till the inauguration next year to know more on the subject."
With the upcoming Sanand facility, Ford India will double its installed manufacturing capacity to 610,000 engines and 440,000 vehicles, between Chennai and Sanand facilities. The Sanand plant will have an initial annual production capacity of 240,000 cars and 270,000 engines, and is coming up with an investment of around $1 billion. The company's Sanand facility has high level of automation, and is one of its most automated car manufacturing plants across Asia Pacific and Africa region.
Several of Ford's vendors, around 15 of them, including its global vendors, have moved into Sanand around 30 kms from Ahmedabad. It is estimated that the vendors themselves have invested close to Rs 500 crore at Sanand. Gobal companies like Getrag Transmission India, Valeo India, Cosma International, a wholly-owned operating unit of Magna International, have come to Sanand as Ford's vendors, apart from key Indian auto-component manufacturers like JBM Autosystem and Indica Industries etc.