Gujarat emerging as an auto export hub

Ford signs MoUs to set up Rs.4,000-crore plants near Sanand

Project on 460-acre to provide jobs to 25,000, ancillary units on adjoining 150-acre to another 6,000

Gujarat emerging as a global automobiles and transportation hub: Shri Narendra Modi

Gandhinagar, Thursday: Global automobile major Ford Motor Company here today signed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for co-operation of the Government of Gujarat (GoG) to set up motor vehicle manufacturing and engineering plant near Sanand at a cost of Rs.4,000-crore in presence of Chief Minister Narendra Modi.

The choice of Gujarat was part of the company's strategy for extension and expansion of its facilities at international and India level. The MoU was signed between Ford India President and Managing Director Michael Boneham and Gujarat's Industries Principal Secretary M. Sahu, Welcoming the entry of Ford Motor in Gujarat, the Chief Minister said the State is capable of becoming a ‘global auto hub'. He wished the company brought in the latest technology in the automobile sector and set up early a world-class skill development centre in the State, The two plants to be set up on 460-acre plot are projected to be the company's biggest facility outside America.

The GoG has reserved another 150-acre adjoining land for ancillary industry It is envisaged to provide direct employment to 5,000 and indirect employment to 25,000 people, besides another 6,000 youth in ancillary engineering industry, totaling job for 36,000.

While Gujarat has come out of its age-old identity as a ‘traders' state' to that of the state with maximum investment in industries during the last one decade, Mr. Modi said that it has emerged as a global automobiles and transportation hub over the last three years with the progress in the automobile sector with the entry of Bombardier and Tata Nano.

Beginning his short speech with ‘Namaste Gujarat', Ford Motor President Joe Hinrichs had a word of praise for vibrant Gujarat and Government's pro-business policies. He described the investment in Gujarat as the company's global future policy to increase its global sales target by 50 per cent to 8-million vehicles by mid-2010s.

Mr. Boneham said that India's large and strong market holds a special place for his company. It would uphold the high traditions of its Tamil Nadu facility at Sanand, too.

It is because of Gujarat's overall competence and competitiveness, industry-friendly environment, nearness to seaport, availability of skilled technical personnel and requisite infrastructure in place and that a top vehicles manufacturer like Ford has chosen the state for setting up its plants. The trend suggests Gujarat as the first choice of several car manufacturers in India their expansion projects to serve the ancillary industry too, for the vast hinterland in northern and western India.

The construction on the two plants near Sanand is scheduled to begin this yearend and start production by 2014.

Earlier, Gujarat's Chief Secretary A.K. Joti delivered the welcome speech. Prominent among those present on the occasion were Minister of State for Industries Saurabh Patel, senior Secretaries and office-bearers of Ford Company.

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