Ford may build its affordable EV platform in this key overseas market to revamp sales

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Amid its shift to more affordable electric vehicles, Ford could build its new EV platform overseas as it looks to revamp sales.

Ford mulls affordable EV platform production in India

According to a new report from Autocar India, Ford is looking to re-enter India. India topped Japan again to maintain the third-largest auto market globally in 2023.

Sources say that although Ford is looking at relaunching the Everest or Endeavour, EVs could play a bigger role.

Ford’s international markets group (IMG) president, Kay Hart, visited the country as the automaker mulls its next steps. The American automaker put off plans to sell its factory on the outskirts of Chennai earlier this year.

For Ford to “justify reopening the factory, it needs to get local production,” one of the sources said. Although Ford could import the Mustang Mach-E, the company may have bigger plans.

According to the sources, Ford is looking to build an EV platform in India. The platform would be used for the country and other overseas markets.

Ford Mustang Mach-E (Source: Ford)

CEO Jim Farley revealed plans for a more affordable EV platform last month. Ford put together a “skunk works” team led by Alan Clarke, who led the engineering of Tesla’s Model Y, to develop it.

Ford will use the platform to power a smaller electric pickup and SUV. According to sources, the first model is due out in 2026, with starting prices around $25,000. These smaller, lower-cost EVs could resonate with buyers in India.

A Ford India spokesperson acknowledged the visit but didn’t provide details on the models. The spokesperson added, “We plan to create 2,500-3,000 additional jobs over the next three years.”

All-electric Ford Explorer (Source: Ford)

Ford halted production in India in September 2021. Despite significant investments, Ford “accumulated operating losses of more than $2 billion over the past 10 years,” the automaker said in a statement.

The company said it would begin importing models like the fully electric Mustang Mach-E but didn’t give a timeline.

Ford isn’t the only American automaker looking to build EVS in India. Tesla has been negotiating with the country for years, looking for ways to avoid its high import duties.

New Tesla Model 3 (Courtesy of Tesla, Inc.)

India introduced a new scheme to promote EV manufacturing in the country. The scheme gives automakers access to 15% lower import duties on EVs valued “$35,000 USD or above for a total period of 5 years.” However, there are several stipulations.

As it looks to expand overseas, Ford officially delivered the first F-150 Lightning in Norway last month, its first market outside North America.

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