Ford Reportedly to Start Production Back in India for EVs

Ford is one of the largest and most popular automakers in America, but it’s also popular around the world. However, the Blue Oval hasn’t succeeded everywhere. In India, the brand has struggled, losing about $2 billion. Those problems prompted the company to shut down production in India last year. But surprisingly, Ford is reportedly ready to try again in India, this time with EVs. 

Ford’s struggles in India and the closing and reopening of factories

Ford EV production India
Ford logo on a car wheel in Kolkata, India, in September 2021 | Indranil Aditya/NurPhoto via Getty Images

In mid-2021, Ford announced it would shut down its operations in India. The reason was economics. Ford has been operating in India for 25 years, but it was never able to compete with the other automakers there. There were many reasons why Ford failed in India, but it was clear that the vehicles the company was selling in India weren’t a huge hit.

Surprisingly, less than six months after Ford announced it was pulling out of India, the carmaker announced it was ready to go back in. In fact, the Indian government even approved the company’s request for a production-linked incentive plan that should give the automaker access to tax rebates and similar benefits. However, Ford won’t return to business as usual in India. Instead, Ford has a new strategy going forward, TheStreet reports.

Why the Blue Oval plans to reopen factories in India for EVs

Before Ford stopped doing business in India, its factories there were making cars sold in India and the United States. The EcoSport was one of those cars. So when the company closed its Indian factories, the EcoSport died. According to TheStreet, Ford’s new plan for India is to reopen one of its factories but produce EVs for export to America. 

Ford has yet to announce which EVs it will produce in India. That said, the company will probably export those EVs to other countries, too. However, it’s not immediately clear which countries are next. The news is still bleak for Indian Ford fans, though, as Ford did not commit to selling its cars in India again. That said, the company also didn’t rule out selling its vehicles in that country in the future. 

However, the reason why Ford has reversed course for India is, once again, economics. The automaker wants 40% of its future fleet to be EVs by 2030, and it’s investing $30 billion into EVs. On top of that, the incentive plan that India offers is geared toward manufacturers making cars with advanced technology, such as EVs. Thus, Ford probably thinks it can build EVs in India cheaply and sell them in America and other markets for a considerable profit. 

A look at the future of Ford EVs

Ford’s goal of having 40% of its cars be all-electric by 2030 can be achieved only by aggressively building EVs now and in the next few years. That’s exactly what the company has planned, as Ford has plenty of EV models in the pipeline.

For example, the Mustang Mach-E has already been a sales success, and it’ll likely continue selling well. In addition, the F-150 Lightning, slated to debut in May 2022, has been garnering considerable attention.

Those two EVs are the big names in Ford’s lineup, but more are on the way. The Ford Explorer will get an electric version for the 2024 model year. And Lincoln, Ford’s luxury brand, will soon get a whole slate of EVs, but they won’t debut for a few more years.

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