Ford Motors CEO Mark Fields in Sanand
US AUTO giant Ford Motors said on Thursday (March 26) it was doubling its production capacity in India as it opened a new $1bn (£674m) plant in the business-friendly prime minister’s home state of Gujarat. Ford said the Sanand plant in western India would boost its nationwide manufacturing capacity to 610,000 engines and 440,000 vehicles. “With today’s opening of our plant in Sanand, we have taken our growth commitment to a new high in India,” said company president and chief executive Mark Fields as he inaugurated the factory. “We are doubling our manufacturing capacity in India.” Fields said the company, which already has a manufacturing plant in the southern city of Chennai, aimed to triple its exports from India over the next five years. The move is a boost to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “Make in India” campaign to kickstart the country’s manufacturing sector, long eclipsed by that of neighbouring China. The government has already relaxed rules for foreign investors and has promised to slash red tape which has long frustrated overseas companies, eager to create jobs for the millions of Indians who enter the employment market each year. The manufacturing push comes at a time when many global companies are seeking an alternative to China, where costs are rising.