John Kerry
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry looks over the robots at soon-to-be opened Ford India automotive factory in Sanand, India, in 2015 with plant manager Kal Kearns, second left. Ford announced Tuesday, November, 8, 2016 that is in opening a technology center in India.  Rick Wilking — AP

Ford Is Pouring Millions Into a New Technology Center

Nov 08, 2016

Ford Motor is investing 13 billion rupees ($195 million) over the next five years in a technology and business center in the Indian city of Chennai to develop new products, design mobility solutions, and provide business services.

Dearborn, Michigan-based Ford (f), which has already invested over $2 billion in India to date, will hire 3,000 people and bring in 9,000 from other centers in the southern Indian city to staff the facility which will be operational by early 2019, the company said in a statement on Tuesday.

Ford is focusing on emerging markets like India where small, inexpensive yet powerful cars are popular and which is dominated by brands from Maruti Suzuki India Ltd and Hyundai Motor Co.

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The center will be the car maker's second-largest technology setup outside its global headquarters, and will include laboratories and testing facilities for vehicles and components, to enable Ford to test future products in India. Ford opened a technology and research lab in Palo Alto, Calif., in January 2015 with just 15 employees. The lab now employs more than 130 people. That number will double by the end of next year, Ford CEO Mark Fields told Fortune in August.

With India expected to become the world's third-largest market by 2020, according to IHS Automotive, global car makers want a bigger share of the pie.

"India is not only a vibrant market for cars and new mobility ideas, it also is rich with talent, technical expertise and ingenuity," Bill Ford, executive chairman of Ford, said in the statement.

The new centre will also include teams working on advanced financial analysis and future data analytics, the company said.

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