Tamil Nadu Woos Tatas

The Tamil Nadu government is in talks with the Tata Group over a possible takeover of the Ford India unit at Maraimalai Nagar in Chennai, a top ministry source said.

Details of the meeting have not been divulged, but a high-ranking source said that since chief minister chaired the meeting, the announcement regarding the final decision too would come from the Chief Minister himself. The buzz got stronger after the reports of Tata Sons chairman N Chandrasekaran meeting Tamil Nadu chief minister MK Stalin and state Industries minister Thangam Thennarasu surfaced. This is said to be the second round of high-level talks that took place with the TN chief minister within a span of two weeks. Earlier on September 27, Tata Motors ED Girish Wagh met the CM.

Ford’s Maraimalai Nagar plant has an annual production capacity of 200,000 vehicles and 340,000 engines. It manufactured the EcoSport and Endeavour, which were exported to over 30 countries. The US carmaker had invested more than $1 billion in the plant. Ford also has a factory in Sanand, Gujarat. After Ford announced its exit from India, its employees were staring at an uncertain future. Ford has about 170 dealer partners in India and they collectively operate about 400 showrooms, employing thousands of people across sales and after-sales service lines, data from FADA showed. Ford was also in talks with firms like Ola and M&M, but those talks fell through.

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