Ford to invest Rs 1,300-cr in India unit

US auto major Ford Motor Co on Tuesday announced setting up of a global technology and business centre (GBC) in Chennai with an estimated investment of Rs 1,300 crore ($195 million) to design, develop and collaborate with global operations for auto components and allied services.

The centre, the third one in the Asia Pacific region, will serve as a hub for product development, mobility solutions and business services, said Ford executive chairman Bill Ford in Chennai.

The centre, spread across 28 acres, will help consolidate 9,000 employees in all its R&D operations in India, across six facilities, under one roof. Post-consolidation, the campus will employ 12,000 people over a period of five years with fresh hiring of 3,000 engineers, scientists and accounting professionals, among others, said Ford. The Chennai facility will be the second largest centre of employment globally after Dearborn in the US, he added.

Addressing mediapersons, he said: “We are bullish about the Indian market. After a lull, we see Ford India is ticking up, thanks to the five new products launched in 2015, including the iconic Mustang. The Indian operations saw a 25 per cent growth in domestic sales and 40 per cent growth in exports so far this year.”

“India is not only a vibrant market for cars and new mobility solutions, it is also rich with talent, technical expertise and ingenuity,” Ford said, adding, “This new tech centre will help us attract intellectuals to be part of a true innovation hub for our future products development.” FE

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