03:31 GMT +310 December 2018
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    Ford to Be First Automaker to Import Cars Made in India to US

    © AFP 2018 / THIERRY CHARLIER
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    American automobile manufacturer Ford Motors has announced that it will begin manufacturing its EcoSport compact crossover in India in 2018, to export to US markets.

    Ford will be the first US automaker to import cars from India into the US market. As president-elect Donald Trump earlier said he would impose a 35-percent tax on cars built in Mexico, Ford has pivoted to India, where the automaker has two plants, in Chennai and Sanand.

    The manufacturer will boost capacity at its Chennai plant, used earlier as a production base for Asian markets. Now Ford is reconsidering its business strategy and will build small crossovers for the US market offshore.

    "We build EcoSport in six locations around the globe. We sell it in 100 markets, and so, just like we make Explorers and export from here into other global markets, we are going to export EcoSport from Asia Pacific, and we are going to sell it here in the US," asserted Michael O'Brien, Ford marketing manager for SUVs.

    Ford unveiled its subcompact EcoSport at the November 14 Los Angeles auto show. EcoSport has been in production since 2013 and is selling in more than 100 markets globally.

    Ford is launching its crossover at a time when sales of small SUVs are booming. The company thinks the trend will not hurt its prospects and expects sales to double over the next five years.

    "I think our view is that while (the) segment has grown significantly, there is lots more growth coming in 2020. We love our position […] We think our timing is going to be just great," O'Brien said.

    But the automaker has an opposite point of view on Trump's plan to impose the 35-percent import tax, stating that a tariff will hurt not just Ford, by the US economy as a whole, as well as its workers.

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    Tags:
    crossover, import, Ford Motor Company, Donald Trump, India, United States
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