The good times are back at Ford it would seem. To meet with growing demand, Ford Motor Company announced today that it will build an integrated manufacturing facility comprising of a state-of-the-art vehicle manufacturing facility and an engine plant in Sanand, Gujarat. Representatives from Ford and the State of Gujarat signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU). Actually, Ford seems to have been reeling in the good times for some time now taking into account the fact that Alan Mullaly is the only ‘Big Three’ CEO who did not have to ask the American Government for money. Add to that the fact that the Indian subsidiaries didn’t feel the pinch of recession as much as their parent companies did, aggressive expansion seems to be the way ahead.

Here’s an excerpt from an article on USA Today, an instance of what Alan Mullaly has brought to Ford.

In one of his Thursday management meetings, where managers are supposed to show color-coded charts, red for serious problems, yellow for lesser issues, green for all OK, “all the charts were green and I know — we’re going to lose $17 billion. I stopped the meeting and I said, ‘Is there anything that isn’t going well? We’re losing $17 billion.’ Eye contact goes down to the ground.”

Mulally: “The next week here comes Mark (Fields, now president of Ford’s North and South America operations) and the charts are all red. Everybody else’s were green. I started to clap, and I said ‘That’s great.’

“I looked around and said, ‘Is there anything we can do to help’” resolve problems Fields was having launching the Ford Edge.

A dam burst. Other managers started tossing out solutions to similar problems they’d had.

Even so, managers took two weeks to follow the Fields example. “Next week everybody still was green, but (two weeks later) the entire 320 charts (of all the managers) looked like a rainbow. Everybody knew it was safe” to ask for help.

Ford will invest approximately US$1 billion in the two facilities, which include stamping, body, paint and assembly operations for vehicle manufacturing, as well as machining and assembly operations for engine manufacturing. The vehicle manufacturing facilities will have an initial annual capacity of 240,000 units, and the engine plant will have an initial annual capacity of 270,000 engines. Ford’s investment will also create 5,000 jobs at the new facilities. Construction will begin later this year and the first vehicle and engine will roll out in 2014.

The manufacturing operation will be built on a 460-acre site, with adjacent land protected by the local government in order to attract and locate automotive suppliers within close proximity of both plants.

“Namaste Gujarat!” said Joe Hinrichs, president of Ford Asia Pacific and Africa. “We are delighted to announce that Ford’s newest vehicle manufacturing site will be here in Gujarat. Ford has very aggressive expansion plans in India and in Asia Pacific and Africa, and these two new plants will be important in realizing our growth strategy here in one of the most dynamic regions in the world.”

“This is an investment in the future of Ford globally,” said Hinrichs. “These new state-of-the-art facilities will help us reach the goal of increasing worldwide sales by nearly 50 percent by mid-decade to about 8 million vehicles per year. We are aggressively expanding in markets around the world that have the most growth potential, in order to offer more of the fuel-efficient, high-quality vehicles from our global portfolio that customers in markets like India want and value.”

Joe Hinrichs, President of Ford Asia Pacific and AfricaMichael Boneham, President, Ford India at the Ford Fiesta Launch

Joe Hinrichs, President of Ford Asia Pacific and Africa, Michael Boneham, President, Ford India

Ford has also recently announced an investment of US$72 million by 2012 to expand its powertrain facility in Chennai to further support its expansion in India.

“India is a dynamic and vitally important market for Ford,” said Boneham. “As part of our strategy in India, we will continue to expand vehicle and engine production, grow our dealer network, and continue to enhance our team of local talent, all while recognizing the strengths and value of our suppliers.”

“This investment reinforces our long term commitment to India. The success of our world-class facilities in Chennai and the passion of the hard working men and women of Ford India paved the way for additional growth and investment here. Just as in Tamil Nadu, where Ford works hard to be a good corporate citizen, we look forward to doing the same in Sanand, Gujarat,” added Boneham.

Ford is bringing more than 50 new vehicles and powertrains to its Asia Pacific and Africa region by mid-decade. Sixty to seventy percent of Ford’s growth is expected to come from this region over the next ten years.

Find our coverage of the all new Ford Fiesta launch here.