Ford EcoSport production has reportedly restarted as the brand has a commitment to roll out 30,000 units of the compact SUV by the end of 2021
According to a recent report that surfaced on the interweb, Ford India Private Limited has recommenced production of the EcoSport to cater to the export markets at its manufacturing unit in Chennai. By the end of this year, Ford has a commitment to export around 30,000 units of the compact SUV and this could be the reason why the production has begun again.
The workers union official told IANS that the production at the Chennai facility is going on as per the schedule as the quantity of the vehicles rolled out differs each day as it depends on the production schedule. The union has also asked for a meeting with the top company officials involved in the decision to shut down three of the four factories in India.
The Ford management is currently holding talks with the workers union in relation to the plant closure but the decision to quit major operations in India and remain as a niche player won’t change as the Blue Oval reported huge losses domestically. By the final quarter of 2021, the American auto major will close the vehicle assembly line in Sanand.
In addition, the vehicle and powertrain production in Chennai will come to an end by the second quarter of 2022. While the EcoSport is manufactured in Chennai, the Figo compact hatchback and the Aspire compact sedan are rolled out of the Sanand factory in Gujarat. It must be noted that the Chennai plant is the sole producer of the EcoSport sold in the United States and the Figo twins in South Africa and Mexico.
The probabilities of them getting discontinued in their respective markets are equally high as well. The production of the Endeavour full-sized SUV was stopped recently in Chennai as the workers involved in rolling out the seven-seater have been asked not to come to the plant for a week. The engine plant in Sanand will continue though as it makes powertrains for Ranger sold in Africa, Asia Pacific and the Middle East.
Ford’s exit from India creates an uncertain future for about 5,300 employees and the Chennai plant has about 2,700 permanent workers and about 600 staff. The impact will be felt more in Chennai as the Sanand engine plant will continue its operations. The wage agreement with the worker’s union in Chennai was recently concluded and the agreement is valid for twelve months.