Deputy Chief Minister M.K. Stalin has announced that an industry-specific policy for the automobile sector is being formulated.

Participating in a function at Ford India Limited’s manufacturing unit at Maraimalai Nagar near Chengalpattu on Friday, where Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi declared open the second engine manufacturing plant, Mr. Stalin said Chennai was all set to become a global leader in automobile manufacturing and allied industries.

Industry-friendly atmosphere, abundant availability of skilled manpower, logistics facilities and reliable infrastructure backed by the pro-active stand of the State government had attracted major players in automobile sector from all over the world to Tamil Nadu.

Several allied industries had also come up, giving a boost to employment opportunities. While a person got direct employment in an automobile manufacturing unit, it led to employment of eight others in ancillary and service industries.

The draft policy for the automobile sector would be ready in three months, he said.

Tamil Nadu’s share in national-level automobile production stood at 32 per cent. The installed capacity of car manufacturing plants in the State was 12.80 lakh units a year. In the commercial vehicles sector it was 3.50 lakh units.

Declaring open the second engine manufacturing unit and flagging off the Ford Figo, a new, small car from Ford India’s stable, Mr. Karunanidhi said: “The DMK tries to ensure that the youth get employment in their own local area. I am happy that Ford India also pursues a similar policy.”

Claiming that innovative policy adopted by the State to attract integrated automobile projects had resulted in 16 major automobile and component industries bringing in an investment of Rs.27,170 crore to Tamil Nadu since May 2006, he said such investments had strengthened Chennai’s position as a leader in automobile sector at the national-level.

Electricity Minister Arcot N. Veeraswami, Labour Welfare Minister T.M. Anbarasan, president and managing director, Ford India, Michael Boneham, vice-president (operations), Ford for Asia Pacific and Africa regions, Raj Nair, and executive director (operations), Ford India, Sandip Sanyal, were among those who participated in the function.