Anurag Mehrotra returns as the MD of Ford India, to curate new plan for independent operation

MUMBAI: Anurag Mehrotra returns as the head of Ford India on Monday just weeks after the proposed joint venture between the US automaker and Mahindra & Mahindra was called off.

As President and Managing Director, Mehrotra takes over from Bala Radhakrishnan, the acting president and MD of Ford India Pvt (FIPL) for the past 10 months.

“Anurag will lead the business and help determine FIPL’s future roadmap, aligned with making choices and allocating capital consistent with ‘The Plan’,” said an internal order signed by Dianne Craig, President, Ford International Markets Group.

From Monday, Radhakrishnan will resume his role of Director, Manufacturing, FIPL.

Mehrotra was responsible for defining the emerging market operating model or EMOM which helped the US carmaker return to profits before FY20. The same platform also helped Ford India remain in green operationally last financial year, despite the overall market slipping in double digits.

Under Mehrotra’s tenure as the MD, Ford India’s revenue had grown to more than Rs 24,000 crore in FY19 from Rs 19,000 crore two years earlier. EMOM has helped Ford India cut structural cost by 37%. Thanks to the emerging market operating model and push on exports, he was able to turn the company around from a loss of Rs 521 crore in FY17 to a profit of about Rs 500 crore the following year. The profit did fall to Rs 221 crore in FY19, according to its filings with the Registrar of Companies, due to a slowing Indian market and softening overseas demand.

Mehrotra will be defining the new gameplan for independent operations in India in line with ‘The Plan’ curated by Jim Farley.

Having interacted very closely with Mahindra & Mahindra management, Mehrotra will be negotiating with the maker of Scorpio on the execution of contract manufacturing and product sharing agreements.

Ford India saw its sales volume decline 38% to 45,799 units in 2020, with market share slipping below 2%.

The sharing of petrol engines and production of a C-segment SUV based on XUV 500, products on which Ford India has already worked with Pininfarina, will be critical for the US carmaker to revive sales volumes in 2021.

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