Ford’s efforts to sell its Chennai factory, which ended its manufacturing operations last year after the US carmaker’s exit from India, appears to have picked up pace as some leading corporates have evinced interest in buying the unit.

“We gathered from Ford that there are two-three companies that have shown interest in buying its property. We will facilitate the transaction with whoever shows interest as it will be an investment into the State,” a top official in the Industries Department, Government of Tamil Nadu, told businessline.

It is learnt that Ford is actively engaged in discussions with those companies. As Ford owns the lands unlike other industrial units that sit on 99-year leases, the US carmaker has been looking for a buyer. Of the 350-acre site, Ford owns about 250 acres, while ancillaries own the remaining land.

The Tamil Nadu government had indicated its desire to facilitate the sale of the Chennai unit. Many names, including Tata Motors and Mahindra & Mahindra, were said to be interested in taking over Ford’s Chennai unit. But no progress was reported.

Last September, Ford India management and its Chennai car factory union - Chennai Ford Employees Union (CFEU), representing 2,592 permanent employees, executed a settlement agreement.