After showing its commitment towards India by building a billion dollar manufacturing facility in Sanand, Gujarat, Ford is getting ready to invest Rs 5,000 crore in a Chennai R&D facility.
As per a report by ET, the announcement for this investment is expected to happen in the second half of this year and the agreement with the Tamil Nadu government is expected to be signed in the next few months. The first project of this new development centre will be a project called B500, which will spawn a new mid-sized sedan that will compete with the Honda City. This new facility will play an important role in design, engineering and development for this new car, which is expected to hit the Indian market in 2018. The B500 project is considered to be a very important one as a multi-utility vehicle might be developed using the same platform in future.
India has a huge pool of good talents and starting a new development centre for the company makes sense because it will also help them develop not just India-related models but also global designs. This will also help the company increase its localisation of its future cars. While its competitors like Hyundai and Maruti Suzuki already have a large R&D base in India, it is never too late to follow them.
Ford India will be launching three new models in the current financial year. It will first launch the Figo Aspire, a sub-four metre car that will take on the Hyundai Xcent, Maruti Suzuki Swift and the Honda Amaze, which will be followed by the launch of the new Figo hatchback and the new Endeavour.