Ford Motor Co said on Thursday it had dropped plans to make electric vehicles (EVs) in India for exports, while it explores options for its two factories in the country that stopped production last year.
The U.S. car maker said in February it would manufacture EVs in India and also got approval for the Indian government's $3.5-billion production-linked incentive scheme for making clean-fuel vehicles.
"After careful review, we have decided to no longer pursue EV manufacturing for exports from any of the Indian plants," a spokesperson for Ford India said in an email.
The company did not offer details on its U-turn, while adding that its previously announced business restructuring continues as planned, including exploring alternatives for its manufacturing facilities in India.
"We continue to work closely with unions and other stakeholders to deliver an equitable and balanced plan to mitigate the impacts of restructuring," the spokesperson added.
Talks for the sale of the Sanand plant in Gujarat with Tata Motors were progressing well, while Ford was pursuing multiple suitors for its Chennai factory, India's Economic Times newspaper said in a report, citing people familiar with the matter.
Earlier this year, Ford had said it was considering producing EVs in India for export, and possibly for sale in the domestic market. The company had less than 2% of the Indian passenger vehicle market when it stopped production in the country last year, having struggled for more than two decades to generate profits.
Several car makers are planning to make EVs in India, with the government offering billions of dollars in incentives to build EVs and their parts locally as it seeks to cut oil imports and pollution.
(Reporting by Shivani Tanna, Akriti Sharma and Nallur Sethuraman in Bengaluru; editing by Uttaresh.V and Vinay Dwivedi)