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Ford breaks ground on $1 billion India plant

Slated to open in 2014, facility will create around 5,000 jobs
Ford india plant 0Enlarge
Ford India's President and Managing Director Michael Boneham (R) and Ford India Executive Director, Product Development, Asia Pacific and Africa Kumar Galhotra pose after a ground-breaking ceremony for a new factory near Sanand, some 60 kms from Ahmedabad, on September 5, 2011. US auto giant Ford said in July it would invest 1 billion USD to build a second vehicle assembly and engine plant in India as it ramps up production to exploit the country's burgeoning car market. (SAM PANTHAKY/AFP/Getty Images)

Ford India broke ground on Monday for second Indian manufacturing facility in Sanand, Gujarat, India's Hindu newspaper reported.

Ford will invest around $1 billion to build new vehicle manufacturing and engine plants in Gujarat, the paper said.

The new facility is expected to create around 5,000 jobs. It will be able to initially produce 240,000 vehicles and 270,000 engines a year. The first vehicle and engine are scheduled to come off the line in 2014.

Currently, all vehicles sold by Ford in India are built at its $375 million factory in Maraimalai Nagar, 45 kms. from Chennai. That plant employs about 2,000 people and has a capacity of 100,000 vehicles a year.

Earlier this month, Peugeot became the third major automaker to choose Gujarat for its new manufacturing center, following Ford and Tata Motors -- which wound up in Gujarat after political turmoil derailed the Nano project in West Bengal. The government of Tamil Nadu was reportedly "in dismay," over losing the Peugeot deal, according to the Hindu.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatches/globalpost-blogs/the-rice-bowl/ford-breaks-ground-1-billion-india-plant