Ford India has started production of diesel engines at its new engine assembly plant at Maraimalai Nagar near Chennai.
The engine is to be used in the mid-size Ford Fiesta and Ford Fusion product lines.
According to Michael Boneham, the newly appointed Managing Director and President of the company, the plant will initially meet the requirements of the domestic market. The firm has invested USD26m and has a production capacity of 60,000 engines per annum.
Ford plans to spend USD500m expanding its India operations in Chennai to begin production of a new small car within the next two years, and construct a fully integrated and flexible engine manufacturing plant that will go online by 2010.
The new investment increases the automaker’s total financial commitment in India to more than USD875m. It plans to make the country one of its strategic production hubs for small cars in the Asia Pacific and Africa region.
The investment plan for India has already started, and will be implemented in phases over the next three years. The first phase currently under way includes the diesel engine assembly plant at the Chennai site.