Ford to proceed with expansion plans despite slowdown

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New Delhi, Nov 5 (UNI) Notwithstanding the economic slowdown and credit crunch, primarily responsible for retarded growth of automobile industry, Ford India today said it will ''go ahead'' with its plan of investing 500 million dollars into the country and introduce a small car by 2010.

''The credit crunch has impacted buyer confidence for the short-term period but has not affected our long-term plans, including the 500 million dollar investment plan that we announced earlier this year,'' company President and Managing Director Michael Boneham told reporters here.

The company will also proceed with its plan of introducing a small car by 2010, along with its other product launches, he said.

''All plans are on track despite the difficulties,''Mr Boneham said.

Earlier, the company had announced an investment of 500 million dollars in India for a new engine and transmission plant in Chennai and development of a small car.

After registering a double-digit growth for the past few years, the automobile industry is struggling with a single figure growth for more than a year, Mr Boneham said.

The company has the capacity to assemble some 100,000 cars annually at its facility here, which will be doubled to 200,000 by 2010.

UNI MP SBA AS1945

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