Ford looking to contract manufacture for Citroen in India
A report suggests that Ford India is looking to partner with Stellantis' Citroen brand in India, in a deal that will see the American brand contract manufacture Citroen cars at its plants in the country. This comes after Mahindra pulled out of a large-scale joint venture plan with Ford in India, that would have spawned numerous SUVs across segments for both firms. Ford India is said to have been on the lookout for a new partner to shore up its India operations since.
Ford-Citroen local contract manufacturing
More details are scarce but the source suggests that Ford India was planning a similar arrangement with MG Motor India until negotiations fell through. The deal with Citroen also seems to be at an early stage and no conclusive arrangements have been come to yet. If it does go through, we expect Ford to manufacture the locally developed sub-four-metre Citroen C3 Aircross that is expected to launch in India by early-2022.
Ford India sales manufacturing capacity
Ford's India operations have remained stagnant of late, the Ford Ecosport and the Ford Endeavour both have continued to be steady sellers but with no new products in the sub-four-metre SUV or mid-sized SUV segments, the company has lost market share to rivals lately. According to FADA, retail sales stood at 2,790 units in June and at 4,214 units in April before the second COVID19 wave.
Ford has two manufacturing facilities in India, one near Chennai and another in Sanand, Gujarat. The Chennai plant has a capacity of 2 lakh vehicles and 3.40 lakh engines and manufactures the Ford Ecosport and Endeavour. The other facility manufactures the Ford Figo, Aspire and Freestyle and can produce 2.40 lakh vehicles and 2.70 lakh engines.
Ford India upcoming cars
With new products still some time away, this seems like an opportune time for Ford to put this excess capacity to use. Another facelift for the Ecosport is expected soon while the new-generation Ford Endeavour coming internationally next year should also make its way here. Also, Ford India is expected to 2,500-unit CBU homologation exception to bring in its halo products like the Ford Focus ST and the Ranger Raptor.
Source: Hindu Businessline
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