Ford plans to use one of its India factories – most probably the Sanand plant in Gujarat – for making electric vehicles with plans to export 100% of the production. The company, which at the time of exit had promised a token presence in India by selling marque brands such as the Mustang, will also assess whether the electric vehicles meant for exports can be pushed into the Indian market. “We thank the Indian government for approving Ford’s proposal under the PLI scheme. As Ford leads customers through global electric-vehicle revolution, we’re exploring the possibility of using a plant in India as an export base for EV manufacturing,” the company said.
An official with the ministry of heavy industries told TOI that Ford had expressed confidence on India’s electrics focus, and resultant incentive schemes. “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,” the official said. At the close of applications on January 9 this year, a total of 115 companies had applied for the government benefits under the scheme for Advanced Automotive Technology (AAT) products – vehicles and components. Winners will now be given two years to work on strategy and products, and incentives will start getting rolled out from April 2024 and would be spread over a five-year period.
Those who have made the cut are local makers Ashok Leyland, Eicher Motors, Mahindra & Mahindra, and Tata Motors, apart from Indian subsidiaries of Ford, Hyundai, Kia and Peugeot Citroen Automobiles, and Suzuki. Pinnacle Mobility Solutions, a joint venture between local Pinnacle group and VDL Groep, Netherlands (which specialises in buses and coaches) has also been selected in the ‘Champion OEM’ category for larger vehicles.