Ford to sell India plant to Tata Motors

BENGALURU, India — Tata Motors has signed an agreement to potentially buy a Ford manufacturing facility in the western Indian state of Gujarat as it looks to ramp up its production of electric vehicles.

The owner of Jaguar Land Rover already dominates India’s fledgling electric car market, which the government is trying to grow by offering companies billions of dollars in incentives.

The memorandum of understanding announced on Monday covers the land, assets and all eligible employees working at the Sanand facility. The financial details of the agreement were not disclosed.

Tata said it would invest in new machinery and equipment at the plant through its electric mobility unit and expects the facility to have a production capacity of 300,000 units each year after the works complete. The capacity can be increased to more than 400,000 units.

“Rising customer preference for passenger and electric vehicles made by Tata Motors has led to a multi-fold growth … this potential transaction will support expansion of capacity,” said Shailesh Chandra, managing director of Tata Passenger Electric Mobility.

Tata last year raised $1 billion from private equity firm TPG for its EV business and competes in the space with Mahindra and Mahindra.

The interest in the Sanand plant follows U.S. automaker Ford’s decision last year to stop production in India, where it had a less than 2 percent share of the passenger vehicle market and had struggled to turn a profit for more than two decades.

Ford said earlier this month it was seeking options for its two factories in the country while shelving plans to make electric vehicles in India for exports.

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