Ford Breaks Ground on $1 Billion Manufacturing Complex in India

Automaker plans to introduce eight new vehicles in India by mid-decade.

As part of its aggressive growth strategy in India, Ford has broken ground on a $1 billion manufacturing and engineering complex in the western state of Gujarat.

The facilities will create 5,000 jobs and boast the initial capacity to product 240,000 vehicles and 270,000 engines per year, according to Ford.

The first vehicles and engines are scheduled to come off the line in 2014.

"With this groundbreaking, Ford is planting the seeds for a prosperous future in Sanand for our future employees, suppliers, dealers and customers," said Michael Boneham, president and managing director, Ford India.

Ford's Joe Hinrichs noted that the investment in India is a key part of Ford's global growth strategy.

"These new state-of-the-art facilities will help us reach the goal of increasing worldwide sales by nearly 50% by mid-decade to 8 million vehicles per year," said Hinrichs, president, Ford Asia Pacific and Africa.

Ford has invested $2 billion in India so far, including a $72 million project to expand its existing powertrain facility in Chennai by 2012.

Ford last year announced that it will bring eight new vehicles to India by mid-decade, starting with the Fiesta, which the automaker launched in July.

Ford said it plans to increase its sales and service network to 200 outlets by end of the year, of which more than 40% are located in secondary markets.

In 2011, Ford has opened one service or sales outlet every week, according to the automaker.

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