Ford “aggressively” grows brand with new manufacturing complex in India

US automotive manufacturer Ford has made its move on India’s growing automotive market with the construction of a $US1 billion ($A939.67 million) manufacturing and engineering complex India.

The new complex is a step towards the automotive giant’s plan to “aggressively” grow its Ford brand in the Indian market to help drive its global growth, Ford India President Michael Boneham said in a report by the AAP.

The new manufacturing facilities are a step towards Ford’s goal to increase its worldwide sales by approximately 50 per cent by mid decade to eight million vehicles produced each year.

Located in Sanand in the western state of Gujarat, the new manufacturing facilities will reportedly create 5,000 jobs, and will have the initial operating capacity to produce 240,000 vehicles and 270,000 engines a year. The first vehicles and engines are expected to come off the line in 2014.

Ford has made a total investment of $US2 billion in India to date. Last year, the company announced it will bring eight new vehicles to the country by mid-decade. The first it said would be the Fiesta, which launched in July. The company began selling its cars in India in 1996.

Ford is not alone in strategically targeting markets it deems to have the most growth potential for its expansion.

Competitors GM and Toyota have also set its sights towards the Asia-Pacific region and Africa to grow revenue where rising incomes and a growing young population has turned theses regions into lucrative markets for global car manufacturers

Australia has also set its eyes on India’s multi-billion-dollar auto industry as a key source for new export opportunities.

In July this year, Australian Minister for Innovation, Industry, Science and Research Senator Kim Carr told Indian media that Australia was looking to build stronger ties between its automotive industry and the Indian market.

During his three-day visit to New Delhi, India, Senator Carr promoted the Australian Government’s new car plan for a Greener Future and made reference to the opening of new facility at SMR Automotive Australia, an Indian owned company based in South Australia.

Senator Carr said the venture was creating new Australian jobs, skills and products through design and production of world class lightweight mirrors for cars.

The Senator met with several Indian car manufacturers, including Mahindra &amp Mahindra and Tata Motors.

Australia is in the course of formalising bilateral comprehensive Free Trade Agreements with India which is expected to open up more trade opportunities for both the countries.