Ford India drops EV plans, workers shocked

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Shelving its plans to roll out electric vehicles out of its two plants, Ford India Pvt Ltd will resume compensation talks with its workers.

“The management has told the workers that it has no plans to make electric vehicles in India. The management has called for talks with the Union for compensation to be paid to the workers on the closure of the plant,” a Ford India Union official told IANS.

He said the compensation talks were stopped as the company had plans to make electric vehicles at its two plants – Chennai and Sanand in Gujarat.

Ford had sent its application to the Central government under the production linked incentive scheme.

According to him, from June onwards, the Chennai plant is expected to close down.

Currently, the plant rolls out EcoSport for the export market, he added.

In September 2021, Ford India announced its decision to wind down vehicle assembly in Sanand in Gujarat by the fourth quarter of 2021, and vehicle and engine manufacturing in Chennai by the second quarter of 2022.

Ford India has four plants in the country – vehicle and engine plants in Chennai and Sanand.

Ford’s “quit India” decision will result in an uncertain future for about 5,300 employees – workers and staff, the officials said last year.

The Chennai plant has about 2,700 associates (permanent workers) and about 600 staff.

“In Sanand, the number of workers will be about 2,000,” Sanand workers’ union General Secretary Nayan Kateshiya had told IANS earlier.

Ford India had said more than 500 employees at the Sanand engine plant, which produces engines for export, and about 100 employees supporting parts distribution and customer service, also will continue to support Ford’s business in India.

According to Ford India, about 4,000 employees are expected to be affected by its decision.

The workers at Ford India want the prospective buyer of the car plants to hire them.

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