Ford workers at the Tamil Nadu plant ask the state government for help: report

Ford employees could find themselves in limbo following the decision by the American auto company to stop local production in India. While the company has said it will take care of its workers, dealer partners and customers, workers at its Tamil Nadu plant have reportedly asked the state government for assistance to keep their jobs safe.

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Ford India has decided to close its local production facilities after increasing losses. The plant at the Sanand plant in Gujarat will be closed until the fourth quarter of 2021, while the plant near Chennai will be closed until the second quarter of 2022. A total of around 4,000 jobs are expected to be affected by the decision.

Reuters now reports that workers at the Ford India plant near Chennai shot a letter to the Tamil Nadu Minister of State, TM Anbarasan, asking for help. “Thousands of workers are at risk of losing their jobs because Ford has decided to close its Chennai factory,” said a letter from the Chennai Ford Employees’ Union calling on the minister to provide alternative jobs.

There were also isolated protests against Ford India, with many calling for government intervention.

Today, Ford is one of many US auto companies that are crowded here. While it will now introduce high-end cars, including Mach-E electric vehicles, via the CBU route, it’s the end of the road for its mass-market vehicles like the Figo, Aspire, EcoSport, and Endeavor. The sale of these vehicles will cease as soon as the dealer stock is used up. The company ensures that existing customers are looked after with regard to vehicle service.

The Federation of Automobile Dealers Associations (FADA) also announced that Ford would take care of its dealer network. “While I was trying to deal with the dealers’ fear, the President and MD of Ford India, Mr. Anurag Mehrotra, called me personally and assured me that they will adequately compensate dealers who continue to provide vehicle service to their customers,” said FADA- President Vinkesh Gulati. (Read more here)

Ford Motor’s journey in India began in the 1920s when it came to the country as a subsidiary of Ford Motor Company of Canada before exiting in the early 1950s. In 1995 Ford returned to India, this time in collaboration with Indian vehicle manufacturers Mahindra and Mahindra. Ford and Mahindra had since severed ties and in 1998 Ford became Ford Motor India Limited.

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