Ford may return to India with EVs

A ton of Ford India customers were led down into disappointment as the American automaker decided to pull the plug from the Indian market and cease its production in the country in September of last year. However, there is now a piece of good news for the enthusiasts of the brand in the nation as recently Ford announced that it is considering producing electric vehicles (EVs) in India for exports and following which it will also open its gates for the domestic market as well.

Ford may return to India with EVs

The company made this announcement after receiving approval from the Government of India for its proposal under the Production-Linked Incentive (PLI) scheme for the automotive sector. After becoming one of the 20 automakers to have received this approval for benefits under the Rs 25,938-crore PLI scheme for the production of EVs in India.

Ford Motor Company said, “We thank the Indian government for approving Ford’s proposal under the PLI scheme. As Ford leads customers through the global electric-vehicle revolution, we’re exploring the possibility of using a plant in India as an EV manufacturing base for exports. We don’t have anything additional to announce at this time and will have more to say about any potential project in the future,” The American carmaker also stated, “There is no specific discussions on this right now, but it is not out of the realm of future consideration. Ford also plans to serve customers in India with must-have iconic vehicles, including the Mustang coupe.”

For the time before the production was halted in the Indian subcontinent, Ford India had two manufacturing plants in the country – the first one located in Sanand, Gujarat and the second one in Chennai. As per the reports, the Indian subsidiary of the American automaker is planning to produce electric vehicles in the Gujarat facility with plans to export 100 percent of the produced EVs.

The ministry of heavy industries of our nation revealed that a total of 115 companies had applied for the government benefits under the scheme for Advanced Automotive Technology (AAT) products – vehicles and components which was announced on September 23, 2021. The ministry has now selected 20 of those participants which include the likes of the local automotive manufacturers Ashok Leyland, Eicher Motors, Mahindra & Mahindra, and Tata Motors, apart from Indian subsidiaries of Ford, Hyundai, Kia and Peugeot Citroen Automobiles, and Suzuki.

Under the scheme, the selected winners will be given two years to develop and work on EV products and strategies that will be produced in the country and beginning of April 2024, the incentives will start rolling in for the manufacturers. The government also announced that these incentives will be spread out over a period of 5 years.

A spokesperson from the ministry of heavy industries in regards to selecting Ford India for the PLI scheme said, “They have an export-led strategy, and our scheme has no bar even if 100% sales are outside the country. We want the manufacturing footprint to grow in India when it comes to green vehicles and that is the reason that the company was chosen for the scheme,”