Ford may think about returning to India if the agreement to sell its Tamil Nadu plant to JSW falls through.
Ford and Mahindra signed a contract in October 2019 that called for numerous joint ventures in various industries. This was regarded as a significant development in the brand’s Indian history. Since its operations started in late 1995, the American car major has withstood the test of time as the market changed, with exports being a big component of its business.
After just over a year, Ford opted to go it alone due to rapidly increasing losses, and it pulled out of the planned joint venture with Mahindra. After refuting rumors that it would not leave India, the corporation seemed to have reached a breaking point, and a few months later, in September 2021, an official declaration was made public.
Both Ford and the Indian market suffered greatly as a result. Prior to the switch to electrification, the brand completed a worldwide restructuring process that included the sales. Ford lost a great chance, given the consistent growth of the domestic economy and the car industry overall, despite having all the necessary resources and a devoted clientele in place for years.
Ford was one of the largest automakers at the time and had a substantial production base, but the underutilization did cause serious problems. Following a protracted dispute with the Union, Ford sold its Sanand plant to Tata Motors in August 2022. A month later, the company offered a severance payout for workers at its Maraimalai Nagar plant in Tamil Nadu.
Numerous firms, both automotive and non-automotive, are rumored to be interested in purchasing the 350-acre plant close to Chennai, which can produce 1.5 lakh cars and 3.4 lakh engines annually. Ford has already renounced its plan to sell JSW Group its manufacturing facility, though. JSW and SAIC recently bought a 35% share in a joint venture.
It came to an agreement to pay about $100 million USD for Ford’s facility, but the plans were abandoned. This strengthens the rumors that the brand, established in Detroit, may think about returning. Ford was previously expected to make a limited comeback by offering high-end CBU cars, but that has also not happened.