Ford to Invest $500 Million in India; Small Car by 2010

Ford India Pvt. LtdFord India Pvt. Ltd announced an investment of $500 million in India and introduction of a small car by year 2010. Ford, in India sells Ikon, Fusion and Fiesta cars, and the Endeavor sports-utility vehicle.

Michael Boneham, president of Ford India Pvt. Ltd. Said, "The Credit crunch and the lack of confidence has affected in the short-term." Mr. Boneham further added that the plans for new models of Ikon are on track despite the difficulties.

To cash on the customers preference of low fuel costs, the company plans to manufacture cars that will run on compressed natural gas and liquified petroleum gas. Boneham divided the year 2008 into two halves. Industry sales in the second-half of 2008 have slowed compared with the first half. Ford sold 14,062 cars and SUVs in India during April-September 2008, a 22.5% decline from a year earlier.

On a more positive note, the President said, "We expect 2009 to be a tough year for the industry with about a single-digit growth (rate).... But we expect higher sales in 2010 when we launch our small car due to pent- up demand."

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