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Factory flexibility for changing petrol-diesel product mix: Ford India

Friday April 26, 2013 09:51:40 PM, IANS

Kolkata: US car major Ford's Indian subsidiary Friday said it has seen about 15 percent shift in demand for petrol vehicles in the last four months and is now better placed to respond to any further shift in product mix with additional investment in factory 'flexibility'.

The company said its diesel-petrol cars sales ratio is currently 80:20 from 90:10 earlier.

"In the last three to four months there were shift towards petrol (vehicles) and it is moving more towards petrol. We are actually changing our mix in the factory so that we will able to meet the demands," Ford India president and managing director Joginder Singh told reporters here.

"We are waiting and watching. But while we are waiting, we are turning the dial more towards petrol. The shift in the product mix had been about 15 percent towards petrol variants in the last three-four months. Gradually, (we expect) it will be 20 percent shift in the product mix," he said.

He was in the city on the occasion of showcasing its upcoming compact sports utility vehicle (SUV) EcoSport, which is expected to be rolled out this year.

The SUV will be built in the automobile major's Chennai plant. The firm is also setting up its second plant in the country at Gujarat's Sanand by investing $1 billion. The new plant is scheduled to be operational by 2014.

With the upcoming facility at Sanand, the number 2 US auto maker's net investment in India would be about $2 billion.

Singh said the company was investing in the flexibility in its factories to cope up with changing product mix in the future as it would be in the country for the long term.

"We are actually investing in flexibility in our factory. We are producing the two engines in same line. So we will be able to remix. Similarly on body style, we can produce different body styles in the same line. So if there is a shift in mix, we would be able to respond much better than we may have been able to do in the past.

"That requires an additional investment, which is part of the $2 billion that we are investing in the country," he added.






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