At least 75 vendors from across Tamil Nadu, supplying components to automotive major Ford, met with State Rural Industries Minister TM Anbarasan in Chennai after the automaker announced its exit from India. Claiming that doing business with Ford was 20 to 40 percent of their business, salespeople explained how closing the plant – just outside Chennai – would impact their business. Ford had mentioned a drastic drop in market share while announcing its exit from the Indian market.
SFC Solutions, which made fuel and braking systems for the auto giant, is worried about its 300 employees because 80 percent of the components the company makes were for Ford. The company representative told authorities: “At least 200 of the 300 jobs will be lost. We have also imported coins worth Rs 25 crore.”
“We don’t want to send any workers from my company. But if something doesn’t work, we will have to,” said S Nargunam, advisor to the industry body TIEMA.
The sellers said the automaker’s exit would result in huge losses in terms of raw materials that have accumulated, parts imported and made locally, and proprietary machinery.
While some voiced concerns about job and financial losses, others offered suggestions to avoid negative impact.
Ellar – another company that makes auto components – has gradually reduced its dependence on Ford from 50% to 10%. Ford has already compensated him, Ellar CEO Pandiyan Mayilvaganam told The Bharat Express News.
“Ford still manufactures its Eco Sport overseas. Why can’t they just keep buying our parts where they make the cars? We can export to them,” he said.
The Ford plant employs 4,300 workers, including 1,400 contract workers, who fear losing their livelihood. However, to reassure the workers, Minister TM Anbarasan said, “We will not abandon them. Our government will not let go, especially our chief minister.
Ford, according to sources, is working on a series of compensation packages. Tamil Nadu is in talks with other automakers who could take over the Chennai plant. Since Chennai is called the Detroit of India, it is a major challenge for the DMK government to ensure that Ford’s sudden braking does not damage the Chennai brand.
Hundreds of workers at the Ford plant in Gujarat demonstrated outside the automaker’s plant on Tuesday, demanding that the plan to close the plant be dropped or that workers be offered other jobs, reported the Reuters news agency. Workers in blue uniforms gathered outside Ford’s car and engine manufacturing plant in the city of Sanand, state, and said the plant will be closed for the end of the year. would lead to the loss of their means of subsistence.
Earlier this month, Ford India shocked the country’s auto industry and announced its decision to stop local vehicle manufacturing. The company will continue to manufacture vehicles for the export market at its Sanand plant until the end of 2021. The Chennai plant will continue to manufacture engines and vehicles for the export market until the second quarter. 2022.