An all-new sedan version of the Fiesta will be launched 24 November 1999 by Mahindra Ford India Ltd. The Indian version features a slightly longer wheelbase than the Fiesta's 2446mm, to provide more rear-passenger space. In India, many will be driven by chauffeurs. The car, when launched, is expected to have a local content level of over 75 percent.
Ford and its 50-50 partner, Mahindra & Mahindra, were each to invest another $27.5 million in the joint venture, on top of the original $40 million. Eventually Ford expects to be majority partner in the $500 million assembly plant in western India.
Hyundai plans to sell shares in its subsidiary to raise capital to expand its plant. It wants to retain management control even if it keeps only a minority shareholding.
Hyundai's capacity is now 120,000. It plans to spend $400 million to add 30,000 units, capacity and an engine-transmission-stamping plant that would provide parts to kit operations in South Africa, Egypt and Turkey.
Hyundai plans to launch its Santro small car, based on the Atos, by October and aims to sell 60,000 units in 1999.
Although Suzuki and the Indian government have not sorted out all their internal difficulties, they have agreed to invest in expansion of their joint-venture, Maruti Udyog. Maruti is the market leader, with sales of over 350,000 units in the year ending 31 March 1997. New investment will expand capacity to 500,000.