Foreign carmakers showing interest in Ford's Tamil Nadu plant: Minister
Foreign auto manufacturers have expressed an interest in acquiring the Tamil Nadu-based production plant of Ford India, the state's industries minister Thangam Thennarasu told Reuters on Thursday. The minister said that talks with the companies are still in early stage and nothing has been finalized yet.
Thennarasu clarified that the government is only acting as a facilitator in the process and final decision will be made by the selling party."It is eventually up to Ford as it will be a commercial arrangement. We are merely facilitating talks between the companies," he said.
The minister revealed that apart from the foreign OEMs, homegrown company - Tata Group had also shown an interest in buying the Ford India plant, but the government is yet to hear back from them. The Group officials had met the state's chief minister and visited the plant for a preliminary study too. "It is now up to them to make an official announcement," Thennarasu told Reuters.
When asked about which firms might be interested in buying its Tamil Nadu plant, Ford told Reuters that it is still exploring the possibilities. “We continue to explore possible alternatives for our manufacturing facilities but have nothing further to share," it said in a statement.
Ford announced plans to wind up production in India in September this year as the company did not see a path to profitability here. The auto maker is expected to wrap up operations at its vehicle and engine manufacturing unit in Tamil Nadu by 2022. While at its second manufacturing facility in Gujarat, the company is expected to stop operations by the fourth quarter of FY'21.
Across both its plants, Ford has the capacity to produce about 440,000 cars per annum but the company is currently only using about 25% of that, Reuters reported, citing data intelligence company Global Data.