Ford bets big on Asia Pacific region with “One Manufacuring” plan
Under the One Ford plan, ably steered by CEO Alan Mullaly, the American automaker got back into the black with a product line up . The automaker now plans to extend this philosophy to manufacturing, with versatile factories that can churn out more cars from the same set up. In other words, Ford plans to standardize its cars and manufacturing facilities so that it can build more cars in a single facility, leading to savings in costs. Also, a flexible approach to manufacturing through the plan means that Ford will be able to build models based on demand rather than idling the facility when the demand for a particular car model falls.
This approach will also allow Ford to cut down on waiting periods for high demand cars by allocating more production for such products. By the looks of it, this plan seems similar to the one that Volkswagen has, in the form of the MQB platform, which allows a range of cars across brands to be built at a single unit. Ford’s “one manufacturing” philospohy aims to establish 9 facilities in Asia-Pacific, capable of producing 2.9 million cars every year, more than a third of the automaker’s total target of selling 8 million cars a year by 2015.
Ford has been showcasing its flexibility in India as well, with the engine manufacturing plant capable of building both petrol and diesel engines, and this strategy has helped the automaker build more diesel engines in India given the steep demand for diesel cars. The engine plans also churns out a wide range of engines, with varying capacities, based on the demand. The automaker seeks to emulate this very example in its car manufacturing plants as well, with the first such plans scheduled to become operational first in the Asia-Pacific region, and there’s a fat chance that this includes India as well.
Ford has ambitious plans for the Indian car market and plans to launch no less than 8 new products in the country by 2015, the first of which is the all new Fiesta sedan. Ford is building a spanking new manufacturing facility at Sanand, Gujarat and the “one manufacturing” philosophy is expected to be the cornerstone on which the plant will be built upon. The plant is expected to begin production by 2014, with the all new Figo being the first car model to roll out from the plant. However, the EcoSport crossover, Ford’s second car in the 8 new products that it plans to launch in India, will be build at the existing plant at Maramalainagar, off Chennai.