SANAND, India — In just five months, the site that was once just a grassy field stretching to the horizon has been transformed, with Ford India laying the foundation for its new US$1 billion state-of-the-art, integrated manufacturing facility.
A foundation stone was this week laid at the Paint Shop area of its new manufacturing facility, which will have the capacity to produce an additional 240,000 new Ford vehicles and 270,000 engines per year for Indian customers and for export markets when completed in 2014.
A ceremony to inaugurate the first site office buildings at Sanand in Gujarat marked the next phase of construction of Ford India’s 460-acre second manufacturing facility in the country.
Amidst a traditional and colourful Indian ceremony, Felix Guillen, executive director of manufacturing, Asia Pacific and Africa, joined Kel Kearns, India new site director, Michael Boneham, president and managing director of Ford India and Sandip Sanyal, executive director, New Projects, in inaugurating the building, Ford dealers and a Gujarat government representative, Mukesh Kumar, also attended.
“This is great progress! It seems a lot has changed in five months,” Boneham said to Kearns as they neared the plant site.
The new state-of-the-art assembly plant will be fully integrated to support stamping, body assembly, paint, trim and final assembly. The paint shop for which the foundation stone was placed today, will utilize Ford’s environmentally friendly rotational dip technology and 3-Wet technology paint processes, dramatically improving paint quality, depth and durability, as well as significantly reducing Volatile Organic Compounds, CO2 emissions and waste.
Ford’s total investment in India to date is approximately USD 2 billion, an investment that is expected to grow with the completion of the Sanand integrated manufacturing facility in 2014.
In addition to the 5000 direct employment jobs created with completion of the manufacturing facility; the completion of this manufacturing facility will spur the creation of thousands of additional indirect jobs in the Gujarat area. To provide for maximum local sourcing for parts, Ford India’s operations in the state has already attracted 19 high level supply commodities to date that will manufacture components close to the Sanand facility.
Around the plant, he neighbouring community is also excited about the plant’s fast progress, because the villagers believe it will bring the entire area better roads and infrastructure, and much needed jobs, both directly and indirectly.
Guillen, Kearns and Boneham were welcomed to the site with floral garlands and red ‘thilaks’ applied to their foreheads. They marked the foundation stone laying ceremony of the Paint Shop by breaking coconuts and symbolically laying bricks. The shop, when completed, will utilise Ford’s environmentally friendly rotational dip technology and 3-Wet technology paint processes, dramatically improving paint quality, depth and durability, as well as significantly reducing Volatile Organic Compounds, CO2 emissions and waste.
“Ford is very proud to invest in India during these momentous times of rapid development, economic growth and profound change for India. We look forward to a long and prosperous future, working together,” Guillen said.
Cutting a red ribbon to mark the inauguration of the new site office, Guillen said Ford is very proud to partner with India and with the people of Gujarat in developing the world-class manufacturing facility.
“You have our commitment that the people of Gujarat and the natural resources of Gujarat will have our utmost care and respect,” he said. The APA manufacturing director also said Ford will continue to invest in the surrounding communities to improve their skills, knowledge and welfare.
“Today we lay the foundation for Ford’s continued expansion in India, and plant the seed for a brighter future for our employees, suppliers, dealers and customers, and for the people of Gujarat and India," said Boneham.
"With this new state-of-the-art Ford Integrated Manufacturing Facility for Sanand, we are committed to significantly increasing our manufacturing output and aggressively expanding our business in India. The vehicles and engines produced at Sanand with India-based, world-class suppliers and partners, will add greatly to the full range of exciting, safe and fuel-efficient vehicles available to Indian customers at tremendous value.”
The new office building will be handed over to Vehicle and Powertrain Operations Manufacturing Engineering (VOME & PTOME) to start construction of their facilities at the end of this year, with installation in 2013.
The Ford leadership team, left to right: Kel Kearns, India new site director, Felix Guillen, Ford's executive director of manufacturing, Asia Pacific and Africa, Michael Boneham, president and managing director of Ford India and Sandip Sanyal, executive director, New Projects, unveils a plaque to mark the foundation stone laying.
|Felix Guillen, Ford's executive director of manufacturing, Asia Pacific and Africa, joins Michael Boneham, president and managing director, Ford India, and Sandip Sanyal, executive director, New Projects, in laying the symbolic brick at the Sanand site.|