Ford has announced a strategic partnership with Hindustan Motors to manufacture engine and transmission units for the IKON, the only car it makes in India, according to Reuters.

It is planned that the gearbox and transmission units will be manufactured at Hindustan Motor’s Pithampur plant in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh.

The report adds that Ford will source some 20,000 engines and gearboxes a year and that will help to increase the share of locally made parts in the Ikon to about 90 percent from 75 percent now.

Hindustan Motors officials have said that the first engines for the Ikon will roll out by the end of 2002.

The Indian unit of Ford Motor Co sold 43,341 of its mid-size Ikon cars in 2001, up 89.7 percent on the previous year.

The Ikon, launched in India in December 1999, competes in the domestic market with General Motors’ Opel Corsa, Fiat‘s Sienna, Hyundai Motor’s Accent and the (Swift-based) Esteem from Maruti Udyog Ltd, a joint venture between Japan’s Suzuki Motors and the Indian government.