Ford's growth plans on track, says new India chief

Joginder Singh, Ford India's newly appointed president and managing director, said on Monday that the Indian arm of the US car maker Ford Motor Co will continue its growth plans despite policy uncertainty, now that its fundamentals are in place.

As part of this aggressive push, he said Ford's plans to introduce eight new products by middle of this decade are "on track", with the mini-urban sports utility vehicle EcoSport to hit the market unveiled in 2013.

"Though the leaders have changed, the base plan has not changed. We announced that eight new products will be introduced around the middle of the decade. We are well on track (towards it)", Singh, who will take charge as Ford India chief from 1 December, told reporters in Chennai. Singh will replace Michael Boneham, who has been heading the Indian subsidiary of Ford for the last five years.

''Our base plan has not changed. It's aggressive growth. I believe that it is on track with our $2 billion investment, and the coming launches of eight new products by mid-decade, mainly in the dominant segment. It also clearly shows in the way our suppliers are coming here with us,'' said Singh, who previously served as managing director of Ford Business Services Centre.

''Growth is coming in from Tier-2 and Tier-3 cities, and, accordingly, we are increasing our customer touch points from 125 to 250 by the end of this year, and to 500 by mid-decade,'' he added.

"We are on track (for launching our products) and proof of that is the EcoSport which we expect it to be another gamechanger after the Figo,'' Singh said. The sub-four metre urban SUV would be launched from the company's Maraimalai Nagar plant next year.