BENGALURU: After much delay and deliberations, Gujarat Chief Minister Anandiben Patel on Wednesday laid the foundation stone for Maruti Suzuki Limited (MSL) plant in the presence of Takeshi Yagi, Ambassador of Japan to India, Osamu Suzuki, Chairman & CEO Suzuki Motor Corporation, Japan, RC Bhargava, Chairman, MSL at Hansalpur, Gujarat.
The parent company of MSL, Suzuki Motor Corp will set up three plants in the state with an annual capacity of 7,50,000 vehicles.
Bhargava said the first assembly line will entail an investment of Rs 3,000 crore with a capacity of 2.5 lakh vehicles annually and will start rolling out vehicles from May 2017.
The second and third lines would also have capacities of 2.5 lakh units annually, with an investment of about Rs 2,500 crore each.
The parent company will sell cars to its Indian arm through this new facility.
“For the Suzuki group, setting up of this new manufacturing facility in Gujarat is the start of a new era. Under the “Make in India” program proposed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, we will set up a state-of-the-art production plant here in Gujarat, with high focus on productivity and efficiency,” Osamu Suzuki said in a statement.
The campus, spread over 640 acres, will also have an integrated suppliers’ park.
The decision of the parent company to own the new plant had become cause for discomfort among shareholders as it would reduce MSL to become a ‘trading channel’. Dispelling the controversy, Bhargava said, “Essentially, what has driven the decision to let Suzuki to finance the Gujarat plant is really that Suzuki now understands that their future as a global car maker is going to be increasingly dependent on India.”
MSL contributes to nearly 40 per cent of the total sales and 25 per cent of profit to its parent in 2013.
“In all respects, the Gujarat plant will function as a Maruti plant; we control when the production lines are established, when we need more capacity, we will determine what needs to be produced and how much is to be produced,”Bhargava had earlier said.