Ford Motor Co., as it seeks to expand mobility offerings, said Tuesday it will invest $195 million into a new global technology and business center in Chennai, India.

The Dearborn-based automaker said the center will serve as a base for product development, mobility offerings and services for India and other global markets. The move comes as the India car market is expected to grow to become the third largest by 2020.

The carmaker will add 3,000 employees in Chennai over the next five years to staff the facility that ultimately will house 12,000 people, its second highest employment center behind Dearborn. Ford plans to move 9,000 employees from six facilities in Chennai onto the 28-acre campus, expected to open in early 2019.

“India is not only a vibrant market for cars and new mobility ideas, it also is rich with talent, technical expertise and ingenuity,” Ford Executive Chairman Bill Ford, who was in India for the announcement, said in a statement. “This new center will help us attract the best and brightest, and make Chennai a true hub of innovation for Ford around the world.”

The environmentally friendly designed center will become Ford’s third global product development center in the Asia Pacific region. The campus also will house employees working in information technology, accounting, data and manufacturing. It will include labs to test future vehicles in India.

Ford said the India center will be the second-largest information technology group outside its headquarters and employees there will “drive innovative ideas for Ford’s emerging business models in mobility, analytics and connected vehicles.”

Ford has spent more than $2 billion since its entry into the Indian market in 1995 to expand manufacturing and sales and service. The company also has used India as a center to make small cars and engines and exports them to other global countries.


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