Ford India said it had completed expansion of its engine plant, increasing annual engine production capacity 36% to 340,000, making the factory a regional small engine hub.

The new factory was completed in a record 14 months and added capacity for over additional 80,000 diesel engines annually.

The additional capacity will feed the surging demand for diesel powertrains in India and growing exports, creating more employment opportunities in the process. The ongoing expansion has already led to the hiring of 200 people.

“We are delighted to see this new addition to our capacity in the engine plant as we gear up to move to the next stage of growth in India and the region,” said Michael Boneham, president and managing director, Ford India.

The factory is Ford's first with a single flexible production line manufacturing both petrol and diesel engines. It is also the first Ford plant to run a flexible crankshaft production line and to have a fully flexible cold test, hot test and dyno test facility for petrol and diesel engines.

“We are at an interesting phase of growth with the markets demanding swift responses from manufacturers and I’m proud to say that with this plant’s amazingly flexible production lines of both petrol and diesel engines, we’re well-poised to move quickly,” Boneham added.

The plant recently made its 400,000th engine.

Ford is currently building seven new plants across Asia Pacific and Africa.

The US$72m spend enabled the plant to enhance crankshaft machining, cylinder head and cylinder block machining with new equipment able to handle more complex tasks. Today, the plant produces 12 Duratec petrol engine variants and five Duratorq diesel engine variants, allowing the workforce to hone its skills working on several variants.

Ford India ships 1.6 TiVCT, 1.4 HC and Duratorq engines to markets such as South Africa, Thailand and Taiwan. Nearly 40% of output will be exported.