Ford Plans Eight New Models for India Market


Ford Motor Co. (F) announced plans for eight new vehicles targeted at the Indian market and a $350 million investment in Thailand as the company targets fast-growing Asian auto markets.

Ford expects Asia to account for 70% of global growth in the next decade, The Associated Press reported.

"We have massive expansion across the region," Joe Hinrichs, president of Ford Asia Pacific and Africa, told the AP. "We believe the Indian market at the end of the decade will be the third largest auto market in the world behind China and the U.S."

The new models for India, to be launched by the middle of the decade, will be in the compact car segment and in more luxurious segments. Currently, small, affordable cars dominate the Indian car market. Hinrichs forecast that this would change as average incomes rise.

"We'll have different products to broaden our showroom appeal," Hinrichs said.

The Thai investment is a 50-50 joint venture with Mazda to revamp production at their pickup truck plant in Thailand. The investment won't increase capacity at the plant from its current level of 275,000 a year, Mazda told the AP.

Ford has no plans to export cars from India to Europe or the U.S.