Exactly one month after abandoning its plans to form a joint venture with Mahindra & Mahindra, Ford is also bringing back a familiar face – Anurag Mehrotra – who will return to his previous role as managing director at Ford of India. Mehrotra was originally tabbed to be the chief executive over the planned joint venture after serving as Ford of India’s managing director and being credited for turning things around and helping the automaker record a profit after five years in the red.
Ford’s decision to not move forward with Mahindra took many by surprise, as it would have provided many of the same benefits as The Blue Oval’s partnership with Volkswagen – economies of scale and joint product development chiefly among them. That includes planned projects such as a Mahindra Marazzo-based crossover for Ford, as well as a pair of new, jointly developed B-segment crossovers for both automakers.
Now, Anurag Mehrotra will be tasked with once again turning things around at Ford of India – which has been an underperforming asset for some time now. However, judging from recent developments, it appears that FoMoCo has big things in store for the country. In recent months, a number of performance-oriented models have been rumored to be on their way to India, including the Ford Bronco and Ranger Raptor, along with the Focus and Focus ST.
Meanwhile, Mehrotra is also facing production issues at the Ford Chennai Assembly Plant – where the Ford EcoSport is produced – and the Ford Sanand Assembly Plant – where the Ford Figo is produced – due to a semiconductor chip shortage that is affecting other plants around the world including the Ford Louisville Assembly Plant in Kentucky and the Ford Saarlouis Assembly plant in Germany.
The semiconductor shortage in India is expected to impact production significantly, affecting both the automaker’s domestic and export market by around 50 percent. Ford produced roughly 5,000 vehicles at its two Indian plants in the month of December, and around 65,000 units from April through the end of 2020.