Ford firm on decision to end manufacturing in India

G Balachandar Chennai | Updated on September 14, 2021

A view of Ford India’s plant at Maraimalai Nagar in Chennai   -  The Hindu

US carmaker Ford India, it appears, is firm on its decision to end manufacturing operations in India. This was revealed by the company as it initiated discussions with its workers’ union to explain the reasons for its exit from vehicle manufacturing and will continue its dialogues with the employees and union.

The company held its first discussion with The Chennai Ford Employees’ Union on Tuesday to discuss its plan of shutting down vehicle manufacturing operations at Chennai and Sanand factories. The sudden announcement sent shockwaves to all stakeholders as the Blue Oval brand's exit is expected to adversely affect thousands of jobs and its country-wide dealership network.

Ford India said it will work closely with employees, unions, suppliers, dealers, government, and other stakeholders in Chennai and Sanand to develop a fair and balanced plan to mitigate the effects of the decision.

During the first discussion yesterday, The Chennai Ford Employees’ Union submitted a plea to reconsider its closure decision as also to ensure job security in case of sale of the factory to a third party.

“The company management has said that they are sticking to the current decision of winding down vehicle manufacturing operations as they couldn’t find a buyer for the factory yet,” P Senthil Kumar, General Secretary of The Chennai Ford Employees’ Union, told BusinessLine.

Meanwhile, Ford India said: “We are committed to working closely with our employees and union to care for those impacted by the restructuring. We will keep you informed as we progress on all important matters...."

Production has stopped at Chennai factory. About 2,700 workers of the Chennai Ford factory are worried over their future, he said adding, “we are also eagerly waiting for the State Government’s help in this issue.

It is reliably learnt that Ford's closure came up during the meeting Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin had on Tuesday morning with Industry Minister Thangam Thennarasu and senior government officials, including Chief Secretary V Irai Anbu and Industry Secretary N Muruganandam. However, no further details were available.

(With inputs from T E Raja Simhan)

Published on September 14, 2021

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