Ford Motors India on Wednesday said it will increase its vehicle production in India by over 30 per cent from this month to meet increased demand in the upcoming festival season.
"We have been producing about 130 vehicles a day but this will be increased to 174 vehicles a day this month," Ford India President and MD Michael Boneham said. He said demand has increased for its entry level sedan Ford Ikon, which was given a facelift last November, mid-sized sedan Fiesta and also for SUV Endeavour.
The company launched an advanced version of sports utility vehicle Ford Endeavour, priced between Rs 15.99 lakh and 17.99 lakh (ex-showroom, New Delhi) on Wednesday. Boneham, however, said the company expects its overall vehicles sales in 2009 to remain more or less similar that in the last year at around 31,000 units.
"While things are improving, we also need to be a bit cautious ... While the Indian government has done a good job to boost the auto sector, issue like extra Rs 15,000 duty on big cars need to be addressed," he said.
Ford India last year announced a $500 million investment plan spanning over three years to expand its manufacturing facility, setting up of a new diesel engine plant and also on new product development, including a small car for the Indian car market.
The company has an installed production capacity of 1,00,000 units at its Chennai plant, which will be expanded to 2,00,000 units. He also said the company would start exporting both petrol and diesel engines to markets, including the ASEAN countries, once the new plant come up by early 2010.
Boneham said Ford's new small car would be launched during the first half of next year and planned to start exporting the product by the end of 2010.