Ford India to make profits from this year

By siliconindia staff writer   |   Wednesday, 20 October 2004, 07:00 Hrs
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NEW DELHI: US auto giant Ford Motor on Tuesday said it would post profits at its Indian unit from this year, helped by a healthy sales growth of its mid-size sedan 'Ikon' in the market.

Ford Motor India, its fully-owned subsidiary, was on course to achieve operational break-even this calendar year and make "some profits", a senior company official said.

"We are on course as planned and would achieve break-even this year, with some profits," Ford Motor India vice-president (marketing, service and sales) Vinay Piparsania told PTI.

The company, which expects domestic car sales to grow over 40 per cent about 27,000 units this fiscal, expects turnover to exceed Rs 1,000 crore this year. "Our sales this year have exceeded our earlier target of 22,000 units, which speaks volumes about the potential in the market," he said.

Established in 1995, the Indian subsidiary sells the flagship 'Ikon' model, apart from the SUV 'Endeavour' and luxury sedan 'Mondeo', which is imported. It has made investments to the tune of Rs 1,700 crore in the Indian market so far and is all set to launch a new model 'Fusion' by December.

"The Indian car market is growing at a rapid pace and we expect higher sales in the coming years," Piparsania said, adding that it would also launch new models in the coming years.

The company, which has its manufacturing facility near Chennai, also exports the 'Ikon' from India to countries like South Africa, Mexico and Brazil. However, it expects foreign shipments to be almost flat this year, at last year's level of 24,000 units, due to no increase in demand from the market it serves.

Piparsania said that against the installed capacity of 1,00,000 units on a three-shift basis, Ford India was currently producing 60,000 units.

"This is on a two-shift basis and would be hiking it as and when the demand picks up," he said.

He said the assembly line for the 'Fusion', which would initially be available only with a petrol option, was differed from that of the 'Ikon'.

"We are looking to sell about 500-1,000 units of the Fusion per month," he said, adding that customer deliveries are expected from December.

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