American automotive major Ford Motor Company has decided to close down its two car plants, in Chennai and Sanand, owned by its subsidiary Ford India Private Ltd, resulting in an uncertain future for about 4,800 employees – workers and staff, said a Union official.
“The company has decided to close down its two Indian plants. The management has not spoken to us about our future. Maybe on Monday, the officials will hold talks with us,” a union official, speaking on condition of anonymity, told IANS.
According to him, Ford India’s Chennai plant has about 2,700 associates (permanent workers) and about 600 staff while in Sanand, the number of workers will be about 1,500.
The union official said Ford India will continue with engine manufacturing at Sanand for exports.
In statement issued on Thursday, Ford India said it will wind down vehicle assembly in Sanand by the fourth quarter of 2021 and vehicle and engine manufacturing in Chennai by the second quarter of 2022.
The company said it had accumulated operating losses of more than $2 billion over the past 10 years and a $0.8 billion non-operating write-down of assets in 2019.
As to the future of the two plants – whether it would be sold or leased to some other company, an official told IANS that discussions are going on with other automotive players but a final outcome is not known.
The Tamil Nadu government attracted Ford India decades back with attractive tax incentives which became a trend across the country.
(Venkatachari Jagannathan can be contacted at email@example.com)