Ford Motor Co is looking to settle a deal with Mahindra & Mahindra to create a new joint-venture company in India. This move will likely see the US automaker discontinue independent operations in the country. The deal will make Ford the freshest automaker to strip back its interests in India. At the end of 2017, General Motors Co reduced its Indian operations and stopped selling cars locally. This was a blow to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s strategy to encourage domestic production.
Over twenty years, Dearborn, Michigan-based Ford spent more than $2 billion in India but has consistently struggled. Currently, it has a market share of just 3 percent in India, one of the world’s fastest-growing car markets.
Under the terms of the deal being negotiated, Ford will form a new unit in India in which it will hold a 49 percent stake, while Mahindra will own 51 percent, the two sources said. The US carmaker’s Indian unit will sell most of its current automotive business to the new entity, along with its assets and employees.
Sources said “It’s like a partial exit for Ford from India. The deal is subjective to close within 90 days”. They also added that the value of the transaction is not yet clear.
Ford said it does not comment on thought, but added both companies stay to work together “to develop promenades of strategic assistance that help us achieve commercial, production and business efficiencies”.
Mahindra also does not comment on speculation. It said in an announcement it was “working together in identified areas” with Ford after a 2017 partnership arrangement. Ford will announce further definitive agreements as we progress on some of the other areas.
Currently, Ford produces and sells its cars in India through its wholly-owned subsidiary. In 2017, it formed a vital partnership with Mahindra under which, among other things, they will develop new cars together, including sport-utility vehicles and electric alternatives.
Ford has been globally restructuring its markets with an aim to save $11 billion over the next few years. Last month, its Russian joint venture said it would close two assembly plants and an engine factory in Russia. This was their exit from the country’s passenger vehicle market.
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