The new body and car plants employ 2,500 directly

The new body and car plants employ 2,500 directly

Ford India has officially opened its new vehicle and engine manufacturing facility in Sanand, Gujarat.

The Figo Aspire, a new sub-four-metre compact sedan [the size is crucial to a tax break - ed], will be the first car from the new plant.

"With today’s opening of our plant in Sanand, we have taken our growth commitment to a new high in India,” said Mark Fields, Ford president and CEO, who attended the event. “We are doubling our manufacturing capacity in India."

Since breaking ground in September 2011, Ford has spent over US$1bn on the two factories which, spread over 460 acres, include stamping, body, paint and assembly operations for vehicle manufacturing, as well as machining and assembly operations for engine manufacturing.

The vehicle plant will have initial annual capacity of 240,000 units while the engine plant can build 270,000 engines. The plant will launch with single shift operations emplying 2,500 people. Ford claims additional employment of 7,500 at suppliers and other supporting firms.

The press shop maintains a clean environment for employees with positive ventilation. The paint shop uses the automaker's innovative three-wet process that allows three coats of paint to be applied and dried simultaneously. The energy efficient process significantly reduces wastage, energy consumption and helps in lowering paint shop carbon-dioxide emissions by up to 25%.