Ford India to export Figo, engines to South Africa


Chennai : The Indian arm of global auto maker Ford Motor will shortly commence exports of its small car Figo and diesel and petrol engines to South Africa and Association of South East Asian Nations (Asean) countries, the company said Friday.

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“We will be shipping out fully built Figo and engines (diesel and petrol) to South Africa and Asean countries,” said Ford India president and managing director Michael Boneham after inauguration of the company’s new engine plant near here.

“The actual volumes will depend on the demand in the domestic as well as overseas markets,” he added.

At the same time, Boneham admitted that the Indian subsidiary is not profitable.

The new engine plant, with an annual production capacity of 250,000 units, is part of Ford India’s $500 million expansion project, which included doubling of its existing car production capacity to 200,000 units annually.

“Major portion of the investment outlay that was announced has been made. The remaining portion will be invested shortly,” Boneham added.

He said the local component content in petrol and diesel engines will be 60 percent and 80 percent respectively.

The flexible production line can make 1.2 litre, 1.4 litre and 1.6 litre petrol and diesel engines, with a continuous mixed flow and not batch built. The plant can make up to ten types of engines.

With the launch of Figo and plans to launch a new model every 12 or 18 months, Boneham expects the capacity utilisation to go up from the last year’s levels of 30 percent.

With a capacity of 100,000 units Ford India rolled out 30,000 units in 2009.

Figo, to compete against the likes of Swift and i20, will be commercially launched next month.