Ford India, which is aiming to become a major player in the Indian car market by 2015, is looking at an aggressive expansion of manufacturing capacity and human resource at its Chennai plant. The company has ramped up its workforce in India by 33 per cent during the current year to 4,000 employees.
“As we are expanding our manufacturing capacities in India to meet the demand from both domestic and export markets, we need to recruit more and more people that includes engineers and sales staff. We have added 1,000 employees this year and will further increase next year to adjust the rate of attrition and meet the expansion,” Michael Boneham, president and managing director, Ford India said.
“We want to be a major player in the Indian car market by 2015, when it is expected to touch 5 million units per annum,” he told reporters after launching the premium SUV, Ford Endeavour 4x2 Automatic. He said the company’s manufacturing capacity would be further increased with the launch of 8 new models by 2015. Presently, the company is operating its plant at Chennai on a two-shift basis.
The Ford Figo has notched up sales of 30,000 units in just 25 weeks and the company expects to double the sales by end of this year, he said. Ford India plans to launch the model in 50 countries over the next year, Boneham added.
Ford India’s plant at Maraimalai Nagar near Chennai presently has an annual capacity of 200,000 units and 250,000 units of engines also made there. Further capacity expansion will be driven by customers in India, he said.
The company experienced 68 per cent growth in its SUV sales between January and August 2010 over the same period last year. Ford expects to further increase its share with the launch of the automatic Endeavour. Presently, Ford sells 350 units of the Endeavour per month as against 210 units per month in 2009.