India will become the small car export hub for Ford’s small cars from next year. After Hyundai and Maruti Suzuki, now Ford will export its small cars from India from the Chennai port next year. Ford is planning to launch its small car early next year and it wants to accelerate its exports from India. It currently routes its exports from the Mumbai port but proposes to use Chennai port from next year. Ford is also keen to align with the government to use Indian Railways as a means of transport for its cars in India.
“We are pushing through Siam (Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers, an apex industry body). We see a big opportunity as besides savings, such a tie-up has to be seen as a traffic reduction strategy," said Ford India, MD, Michael Boneham. The company has studied the logistics from the Chennai port which have turned out to be cheaper and “a more sensible option”. It has already shipped 170 units to South Africa from the Chennai port.
Ford will be entering the most competitive and the most price sensitive segment in India next year. Boneham admitted that there had been challenges preparing to launch a product in this segment but the company is now ready to make its presence felt in this segment.