Ford India has said that it has started exporting petrol engines from its Chennai unit to Thailand.

"The first shipment of 1,000 petrol engines is a significant first step in our goal to become a major production and export hub of diesel and petrol engines," Ford India President and Managing Director Michael Boneham said in a statement.

The company is also working towards exporting them to other parts of the world, including the Asia-Pacific and African regions.

The company exported its first batch of 1.4 litre and 1.6 litre high-compression petrol engines from the Maraimalai Nagar unit, near Chennai, to sister facility AutoAlliance Thailand (AAT).

Besides the AAT facility, Ford India will export engines to other Ford plants in the Asia-Pacific region. It already caters to facilities in South Africa.

"The number of engines exported will increase to 2,500 per month, and will continue to build as the projected export demand gradually increases through the year-end and into 2011," the company said.