Ford Pulls Out Of Sale Agreement With JSW For Tamil Nadu Plant
Ford Motor Co. has reversed its decision to sell its only remaining factory in Tamil Nadu, India, reaching a recent agreement with the JSW Group led by Sajjan Jindal, according to a report by the Economic Times. This surprising move has led to speculation that the American company might be contemplating a comeback into the world's third-largest automotive market, having exited more than two years ago.
Following Ford's exit from India due to increasing losses and the downturn in the passenger vehicle market amid the COVID-19 pandemic in September 2021, the company's plant in Maraimalai Nagar has been up for sale.
In the wake of JSW's announcement of a 35 per cent stake acquisition in a joint venture with SAIC, the company had initially finalized an agreement to buy the Ford plant for approximately $100 million. However, in a recent twist, Ford has called off the deal and is no longer pursuing the sale of the factory, as per sources cited by the report. SAIC oversees the operations of MG Motors India.
VinFast, the Vietnamese electric car manufacturer planning its India entry, is reportedly considering the Ford plant for manufacturing. Mahindra and Mahindra also expressed interest but with less enthusiasm.
The Ford plant, inactive since July 2022, is positioned near Chennai port, covering 350 acres and equipped with an annual capacity of 150,000 cars and nearly 340,000 engines.
Acquiring Ford's Sanand plant in Gujarat for Rs 725.7 crore in January, Tata Motors aimed to boost electric vehicle (EV) production through its subsidiary, Tata Passenger Electric Mobility Ltd. The acquisition encompassed land, buildings, the entire plant infrastructure, machinery, equipment, and the transition of all eligible employees.