Ford India plans to add 1,000 more employees to its India operations this year despite the current auto market slump. The company also said its small car project is well on course and is expected to be launched in 2010.
"We will be continuing with our strategy to enter the small car market by early 2010," Michael Boneham, president and managing director of Ford India, said. "This definitely is a period of slowdown and the double digit growth witnessed over the past few years will not be seen for at least a year," he added.
"This will help Ford India to enter the segment, which accounts for more than 70 per cent of the passenger vehicle market in India," said Boneham.
He said the Ford small car would have more than 80 per cent indigenisation.
For Ford India, a 100 per cent subsidiary of Ford Motor Company, USA, the move is part of the the plan to attract best talents in the industry.
Ford India already employs around 6,000 staff at various levels across the country.
He said the economic slowdown has, in fact, given corporates an opportunity to look for the right opportunities for finding solutions based on corporate intelligence. This is also the right time to choose the right intellect for running the show, he said.
Ford India expects demand in the small car segment to pick up significantly at the time of the car's launch in early 2010.
Ford India is also pushing the sale of its SUV `Endeavour' in the Indian market.
According to figures available with the Society of India Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM), Ford Endeavour ranked as the market leader in terms of cumulative sales of SUVs in 2008, with total sales of 3,328 units from January–December 2008, significantly more than any other manufacturer in the segment. The Endeavour enjoyed a predominant market share of 28 per cent in the year 2008, the company said in a release.