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Ford Cancels EV Production Plan In India

After shutting its operation down in September 2021, Ford decided to leave its production in the country and left a massive void in the Indian automotive Industry. It appeared that Ford was done with the country, but 6-months later announced that it was exploring the possibility of using the plants in India as its EV manufacturing hub under the government’s PLI scheme. Being amongst one of the few manufacturers approved for this scheme, it seems now Ford has changed its mind and dropped its plan for EV production.

Also Read: New Ford Everest (Endeavour) Previewed At 2022 Thailand Motor Show (BIMS)

What is the PLI scheme?

PLI (Production Linked Incentive) is a scheme started by the Central Government to incentivize local manufacturing and production of Electric Vehicles (EVs) and Hydrogen Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles (FCEVs) in the country.

Companies like Maruti Suzuki, Tata, and Hyundai are some other manufacturers who had the approval of the PLI scheme alongside Ford.

What was Ford’s EV Plan?

After ceasing operation in the country in 2021, Ford was looking at the possibility of using its two plants in the country, one in Maraimalai Nagar, Tamil Nadu, and the other in Sanand, Gujarat, as their hub for the production of their EV lineup. They even got approval for the same under the Center’s PLI scheme.

Why did Ford decide to drop out?

Ford is pretty ambitious about its EV lineup, and with the launch of the Ford F-150 Lightning (the all-electric version of its most popular F-150 pickup truck), they are going all out.

Speculations of their withdrawal could be the fact that the two plants are not capable enough in size or in equipment to be able to handle the large volume of production in the long term. 

Another speculation could be the chip shortage in the world, a decline in imports of batteries and modules from China due to their increasing COVID cases, and geopolitical tensions around the globe.

Would Ford ever return?

Ford will continue selling high-end cars like the Mustang in India through the CBU route and probably will do the same for many other future cars it may introduce. Although not a complete goodbye in terms of sales, it seems that Ford has bid India adieu in terms of production. But the future is always bright, and as consumerism towards EVs will grow in India, who knows, it might be enough to lure Ford back again!