Ford is reportedly in talks with Citroen over contract manufacturing in India, on the back of the joint venture with Mahindra not coming into existence
The proposed joint venture company between Ford and Mahindra did not come to fruition and it did send shockwaves to many as it was one of the promising collaborations in recent Indian automotive history and resultantly, all the projects were cancelled as both brands went their separate ways and are now developing new vehicles with their own expertise.
Mahindra is on a mission to launch a host of new vehicles until 2026 and things will be kicked off by the XUV700 later this year. Ford India is widely reported to be working on a C-segment SUV, which was initially said to be based on the XUV700. It will now likely sit on the Ford Territory’s architecture and a new generation EcoSport could also arrive in the near future.
Ahead of which the American manufacturer has already been spotted testing the facelifted EcoSport and it will predictably launch in early 2022. The Blue Oval is seeking a new partner in India for contract manufacturing at one of its production facilities in India. It is said to be convening with different companies including Groupe PSA’s Citroen.
Partnering with the French brand may make sense as it is also located in Tamil Nadu. The C5 Aircross is currently manufactured at Citroen’s base in Thiruvallur, TN and a compact SUV will be launched next year in the highly competitive volume-based segment. The report further noted that Ford was in talks with MG Motor but a deal could not be agreed upon between them.
Ford India has two production facilities – one in Chennai and the other in Sanand, Gujarat for car manufacturing and engine assembly. The Chennai plant has a yearly capacity of two lakh units and 3.40 lakh powertrains and more than one billion USD has gone into this facility, which spreads over 350 acres. More than a billion has also been spent in Sanand.
It has an installed capacity of 2.70 lakh engines and 2.40 lakh vehicles and it used to roll out Aspire sub-four-metre sedan and the Figo hatchback. It is no secret that the plants are not utilised to their full capacity and thus bringing in a big player for contract manufacturing takes the spotlight.