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Ford India said troubles with its parent in US will not affect its planned $500 million investments for India, and added that the company’s small car would hit the market by early 2010 with localisation as high as 85% to keep the price competitive.

Michael Boneham, MD and president of Ford India, told TOI that the company’s expansion plans were going ahead “as scheduled”. The US auto major that posted a record $14.7 billion net loss in 2008 globally had announced the half-a-billion dollar investment for India last year to double annual production capacity to 2 lakh units and make 2.5 lakh petrol and diesel engines.

“The last six months have been tough for the auto industry… and we maintain a cautious outlook for the rest of 2009,” Boneham said, adding that he expected a turnaround only by 2010. “And this will be the time when we bring in our small car. Thus, we are confident it will get a good response,” he added.

The company is making efforts to ensure that its new small car, that is being designed and engineered for the Indian market, is attractively priced considering it faces tough competition from players like Maruti Suzuki, Hyundai and Tata. “It will the first offering from Ford in the mass-market segment and we are making efforts to keep it cost-competitive while making it a great value proposition,” he said.

Source: Pricewale.com

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