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Ford plans to export Indian-made Figo to 50 more countries

August 26, 2010

US auto giant Ford Motor said Thursday it plans export its Indian-built Figo model to 50 new countries as it intensifies efforts to use the nation as an export hub.

Ford also said it aimed to introduce eight new vehicles to India's fast-growing car market as it seeks to overtake global rivals in penetrating Asia's third-largest car market.

"We have big plans for India and for this region," Joe Hinrichs, president of Ford Asia Pacific and Africa, said in a speech in New Delhi.

"By the middle of this decade we will introduce eight new vehicles to India from our global platforms, in segments appropriate for this market," he said.

Ford's announcement came after the US carmaker earlier this year unveiled in India the locally-made small Figo model to compete with offerings from international competitors such as General Motors and Volkswagen.

The Figo, manufactured in the southern Indian city of Chennai, has been a hugely popular, with more than 30,000 sold in 25 weeks.

Sales of vehicles in India have grown at an average annual rate of 17 percent over the past five years, and an estimated 10 million to 11 million people are expected to migrate from bicycles and motorbikes to small cars in the next few years.

Hinrichs said the company would export the Figo to 50 new countries, including Mexico, and across North Africa and the Middle East starting next year.

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