Chennai to be innovation and development hotbed for Ford globally

by Autocar Pro News Desk , 08 Nov 2016

Ford Motor Co today announced plans to set up a state-of-the-art Global Technology and Business Centre in Chennai. The facility will serve as a hub for product development, mobility solutions and business services for India and other markets around the world.

Ford executive chairman Bill Ford, who is in Chennai for the announcement, said the automaker plans to invest US$ 195 million (Rs 1,300 crore) and hire 3,000 skilled workers over the next five years.

“India is not only a vibrant market for cars and new mobility ideas, it is also rich in talent, technical expertise and ingenuity. This new centre will help us attract the best and the brightest and make Chennai a true hub of innovation for Ford around the world,” said Ford.

Expected to be completed by early 2019 (first phase), the Ford Global Technology and Business Centre in Chennai will become the automaker’s third global product development centre in Asia Pacific and part of Ford’s global product development network. The facility will employ Indian engineers, scientists and skilled workers. It will also house a wide range of laboratories and testing facilities for both full vehicles and components, enabling Ford to conduct extensive testing of future vehicles in India.

“This is an exciting day for Ford and Chennai, and it underscores the bright future we are creating together,” said Dave Schoch, president, Ford Asia Pacific.

To drive emerging business models

L-R: Bill Ford, executive chairman, Ford Motor Co; Dave Schoch, president, APAC; and David Dubensky, executive director, global business services.

In addition to growing product development capabilities in India, the centre will house Ford’s second-largest IT organisation outside the company’s global headquarters. Making the most of local talent, the team will drive Ford’s emerging business models in mobility, analytics and connected vehicles.

The centre will also help Ford innovate in manufacturing, standardising processes and making use of the latest technologies.

By bringing together the employees from skill teams currently spread across six different locations in Chennai, the centre will help democratise innovation. It will deliver business solutions to nearly every Ford location around the world in the areas of product development, information technology, finance and accounting, manufacturing, data analytics, marketing sales and service, purchasing and automotive financing.

Innovative design

Stretching across a 25-acre campus with 2.5 million square feet of floor space, the Ford Global Technology and Business Centre is designed to enhance innovation and collaboration among employees.

The centre also features shared work spaces, open office plan, a common Learning & Development Centre separate from the two main office towers and high-speed wi-fi connections across the campus.

Spread over four floors, amenities for employees include a canteen, fitness centre, yoga centre, medical facilities and a childcare centre. Both the office buildings and the Learning & Development Centre are designed for compliance with LEED Gold and Platinum standards for green buildings.

All lighting across the campus will be provided by LED light fixtures and roof-mounted solar panels, heat and water recovery, a water treatment plant and rainwater tanks for collecting roof water will further reduce its environmental footprint. The treated wastewater will be reused for irrigation, flushing and cooling. 

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