US auto giant Ford plans to invest more than $900 million to construct a second manufacturing plant in India in the western state of Gujarat, reports said Wednesday.
The 40-billion-rupee ($909 million) plant was slated to open in 2014 and employ around 5,000 workers, Dow Jones Newswires reported, quoting an unnamed official directly involved in the project.
The US automaker was due to sign an agreement on the plant with the Gujarat government on Thursday, Dow Jones reported.
Ford already has one plant near the southern Tamil Nadu port capital of Chennai, where it manufactures small cars such as the Fiesta as well as the Endeavour sports-utility vehicle.
The Press Trust of India, quoting what it said were official sources, reported Gujarat was allocating 400 acres (162 hectares) of land in Sanand, 40 kilometres (25 miles) from the state's main city of Ahmedabad, for the plant.
The company would not comment on the reports, but a statement said that as "part of our plan to introduce eight new products by the middle of the decade, Ford is expanding its capacities at its existing facility in Tamil Nadu as well as exploring other options".
The company aims to introduce more products from its global portfolio and other Asia Pacific and African markets into India as it seeks to tap the country's growing domestic car market.
Ford has said it is looking to step up global production by 50 percent by 2015 to eight million units and expects Asian markets, particularly India and China, to make up one-third of total sales.
Ford's Chennai plant can assemble up to 200,000 cars a year.
Gujarat has emerged as an investment magnet for car and other manufacturers with its business-friendly policies, despite controversy surrounding its Hindu nationalist chief minister, Narendra Modi, who is accused of turning a blind eye to deadly anti-Muslim riots in 2002 -- a charge he rejects.
Ford on Tuesday reported a fall in profit in the second quarter, signalling that higher commodity costs were weighing on earnings. Second-quarter net profit fell 8.0 percent from a year ago to $2.4 billion, Ford said.