Ford Motors to invest another $72 mn at Chennai plant

The Indian subsidiary of Ford Motors today said it would invest $72 million to expand its powertrain facility in Chennai to further support its sales and export growth plans in India.

The investment in the expansion of diesel engine production capacity will bring Ford's total investment in India to more than $1 billion, the auto maker said in a statement.

The Chennai plant is the first Ford facility to feature single flexible production line manufacturing petrol and diesel engines. It is also the first Ford plant to run a flexible crank shaft production line producing crank shafts for petrol and diesel engines.

It produces five Duratec petrol engine variants and one Duratorq diesel engine variant for Ford vehicles. It is also gearing up to produce powertrains for Ford's all-new global Fiesta sedan, when it is launched in India later this year.

When the expansion programme is completed in mid-2012, the engine plant's production capacity will increase from 250,000 to 330,000 units per year, an additional output of 80,000 diesel engines annually.

''This investment reinforces the importance of our Chennai plant and Ford's continued expansion in India,'' said Michael Boneham, president and managing director of Ford India.  "This expansion will allow us to provide more technologically advanced and fuel-efficient engines to our customers in India and in markets around the world where we export Chennai-built vehicles."