Livemint: December, 2015
Sanand, Gujarat: Canada’s Magna International Inc. on Wednesday said it has started production at two facilities in Gujarat’s Sanand, which will supply auto parts to Ford Motor Co. in India. The facilities are located in a suppliers’ park next to Ford’s assembly plant in Gujarat’s Sanand.
Jim Tobin, chief marketing officer and president of Magna Asia said it was a multi-million dollar project with scope for expansion, without specifying the investment in the two units.
The company currently has 285 manufacturing locations globally, of which 11 are in India. “About 116 plants across the globe supply to Ford. We are looking at the next phase of growth to come from India,” Tobin said.
Magna is a global strategic components supplier of Ford. The US-headquartered automaker earlier this year started production from its factory in Sanand, which it has built for an estimated investment of $1 billion.
Tobin said the Indian automobile market is estimated to grow from 4 million units currently to about 12 million units by 2030.
At one of the new Sanand facilities, Magna assembles and provides just-in-time deliveries of complete seat systems for Ford. The 215,000-sq. ft plant is expected to employ approximately 200 people at full production, building approximately 240,000 complete seat systems per year.
Both units will together employ around 600 people. As for the seating systems plant, it will have an initial capacity to make car seats for 240,000 cars per year that can be expanded to 500,000 car seats per year on a two-shift basis.
At the second facility in Sanand, Magna will build body and chassis systems for Ford.
While the new plants reflect business awards for vehicles that are built from global-platform architectures, they also help position Magna for further growth in India as vehicle production expands.
Sanand, located about 40 km from Ahmedabad, has emerged as a major destination for automakers, after Tata Motors decided to relocate its factory to Sanand in 2008 to build the Nano after facing protests at its original site in Singur, West Bengal.
Companies that have followed Tata Motors’ footsteps in the last seven years include Ford India, Maruti Suzuki India Ltd, Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India Pvt. Ltd and Honda Cars India Ltd.
The Sanand-Hansalpur-Vithalapur region, which houses Suzuki’s upcoming car plant, is part of a proposed cluster of automobile and textile industries on the ambitious Delhi-Mumbai freight corridor. The region has seen investment proposals of Rs.20,000-25,000 crore in the automobile manufacturing sector.