Indian automaker Tata Motors is looking to buy a Ford Motor factory in Gujarat amid plans to rev up its manufacturing of electric vehicles.
Tata, which is a key player in the country’s small EV sector, said on Monday it had signed a memorandum of understanding to buy the land, structures and retain workers at Ford’s Sanand plant in the west Indian state.
Details of the deal were not revealed but the Economic Times said the buyout could cost $100-150 million.
Tata, which owns Jaguar Land Rover, is boosting spending as the government offers companies billions of dollars in incentives.
The company said it would invest in new machinery and equipment at the plant through its electric mobility unit and expects the facility to have a production capacity of 300,000 units each year after the works is done.
The capacity could then be increased to more than 400,000 units.
“Rising customer preference for passenger and electric vehicles made by Tata Motors has led to a multi-fold growth … this potential transaction will support expansion of capacity,” Shailesh Chandra, managing director of Tata Passenger Electric Mobility, said.
Tata last year raised $1 billion from private equity firm TPG for its EV business and competes in the space with Mahindra and Mahindra.
Its interest in the Sanand plant follows US automaker Ford’s decision last year to stop production in India, where it had a less than 2% share of the passenger vehicle market and had struggled to turn a profit for more than two decades.
Ford said earlier this month it was seeking options for its two factories in the country while shelving plans to make electric vehicles in India for exports.
• Reuters with additional editing by Jim Pollard
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