India will be a major supplier to Ford's Asian plants, including making engines for the Australian-bound Fiesta and Focus. Engines will also go to Europe. Ford executive of manufacturing for Asia Pacific, Gary Johnson, overnight says: “From an engine perspective, we'll be exporting not just to Europe but also to Thailand”.
Thailand makes the Ford Fiesta and Focus passenger cars, as well as the Ranger ute. If somewhere needs more engines and we've got the capability, then we're going to ship them,'' Mr Johnson says. India has three manufacturing plants in India. One makes the small Fiesta-based EcoSport SUV - in Australia early next year - and another is an engine plant that now makes a 1.2-litre petrol and 1.4-litre diesel.
A 1-litre turbo-petrol engine - to be used in the EcoSport, Fiesta and Focus - is being added to production. Mr Johnson says Ford has the capacity in India to build 600,000 engines by 2015. It will also be capable of building 450,000 small cars. Ford boss Alan Mullaly, speaking to Carsguide in Delhi in February this year, says that in Asia, India would be a centre for light to small cars while “other Asian” centres would make small to mid-size cars (for example, Focus in Thailand).
Ford has invested more than $2 billion to build factories in India. It is rated eighth in terms of sales in India, behind market leaders Hyundai - which makes the i20 for Australia in India - and Maruti Suzuki and Mahindra-Ssangyong. Ford India currently exports 40 per cent of its engine production and 25 per cent of its car production to 35 countries, primarily in Asia and Africa.