Ford is all set to stop its independent operations in India, and hand over the key to a new joint entity with Mahindra & Mahindra
Back in 2017, Ford and Mahindra came to an agreement of a “strategic alliance”, which basically meant working on new projects and developing cars together not only for India but also for other emerging markets. This was followed by an announcement on powertrain sharing and connected car solutions in October 2018, and the latest agreement being the co-development a mid-size SUV earlier this year.
The American carmaker has failed to make a mark in India, with a market share of less than 3%. Mahindra, one of India’s largest carmakers, will own 51% of the new joint venture. However, Ford will still have equal voting rights and board representation.
The joint venture will handle all Ford India Private Limited operations except for its global business services division or the export-focused engine plant in Sanand. This also includes the two car plants Ford owns in the country.
“As envisioned, the new entity will hold most of Ford’s assets in India, including the two car plants it owns in the country. “Ford remains committed to growing its customer base and product portfolio in the world’s fourth-largest automobile market, and will continue to make in India, for India and the world,” Lori Arpin, a spokeswoman for Ford Motor Co. said in a statement.
Ford Motor Co. will not the first American carmaker that failed to make its presence felt in the Indian automotive industry. General Motors Co. stopped selling Chevrolet cars and backed out from a market that is majorly dominated by Maruti Suzuki and Hyundai, two years ago.
The past 10 months have been a misery for the entire market, leading to a decline in production and jobs. It should be noted that a final agreement between Ford Motor Co. and Mahindra & Mahindra hasn’t been reached yet, and the discussions could still go either way.
The current Ford India lineup includes Figo – a pocket-rocket hatchback, Freestyle – a cross-over, Aspire – a compact family sedan based on the Figo, SUVs EcoSport & Endeavour and Mustang GT, the Pony.