Ford Motor Co. (F:US), the second-largest U.S. automaker, will ship cars made at its India factories to more overseas markets as it increases capacity to benefit from the nation’s low manufacturing costs.
The company, which is building a second plant in India, plans to export cars to 50 markets within five years, up from 37 now, David Schoch, Ford’s head for the Asia-Pacific region, said in an interview in Taipei yesterday.
The automaker’s annual capacity in the South Asian nation will increase to 440,000 units after the second plant begins output. The push to increase exports from its Indian factories comes as industrywide deliveries in Asia’s third-biggest car market fell 4.6 percent in the seven months through October, heading for their first annual drop since 2002.
“It’s a low-cost manufacturing hub for exports to other parts of the Ford growth,” said Schoch, who reiterated comments made in September that the Dearborn, Michigan-based automaker will step up exports from India given the changing local conditions and growing global demand.
Ford exported 29,316 units, or 27 percent of its production in India, in the year ended March 31. It sold 77,225 passenger vehicles in the country that year, giving it a 2.9 percent market share, according to data from the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers.
In June, Ford introduced the EcoSport compact SUV in India. The automaker has a waiting list for 50,000 units of the model in the country, Schoch said. Ford will unveil the EcoSport in Taiwan today.
The company will increase its dealerships in smaller cities in China and expects to have 6 percent share of the market by the end of 2015, Schoch said. Ford will double its factories in China by the end of 2015 to eight, he said.
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