Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami, on Thursday, inaugurated the new research and development facility of Ford Motors in Chennai.
The new centre is located inside Fordâ€™s Global Technology and Business Centre in the Electronics Corporation of Tamil Nadu (ELCOT) Special Economic Zone (SEZ) campus in Sholinganallur, on the Old Mahabalipuram Road which is popularly known as the I-T Expressway. Tamil Nadu Minister for Industries MC Sampath and Michael Brielmaier, President and Managing Director, Ford India were present besides the Chief Minister.
According to a press statement issued by Ford India, this highlights the importance of Tamil Nadu to Ford and also reaffirms the companyâ€™s commitment to India by providing job opportunities. The statement also said that the newly inaugurated centre has various facilities like simulation labs for testing new technology, virtual reality labs to encourage advanced manufacturing simulations, Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning capabilities. The centre also has a component and a vehicle lab for design, development and testing.
According to a report in the Economic Times, the Sholinganallur centre is the third research and development set up by Ford in the Asia-Pacific region. Ford India also has an investment of over two billion dollars across the country and has provided employment to over 14000 people.
The agreement to set up a new Ford Research and Development Centre in Chennai was signed in the first Global Investors Meet held in 2015 led by the former Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa. The project was announced in the Assembly by Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam in 2016. The government of Tamil Nadu had also sanctioned 28 acres at Sholinganallur to set up the centre.
Ford India already has a manufacturing facility since 1995 in Maraimalai Nagar near Chennai and crossed the coveted 100000-mark in 2011.