NEW DELHI: Suzuki Motor Corporation (SMC) has finally decided to set up its lithium ion battery plant in Gujarat in an alliance with Toshiba Corporation and Denso. It also plans to set up its fourth production line of 2.5 lakh units in the state to take total capacity to a million units.
The plant, which is likely to be set up near its Hansalpur-based facility in Gujarat, is Suzuki Motor Corp’s first wholly-owned unit in India.
Lithium ion battery is used in electric vehicles and with growing thrust for EVs, SMC wants to tap the market.
In April, Suzuki had announced plans to set up a Rs 1,200-crore plant in India to produce lithium ion batteries, but had not decided where to set up the project. SMC, Toshiba and Denso have set up a joint venture firm to tap into the growing popularity for electric vehicles in India. The joint venture will ensure stable supply of lithium-ion battery packs in the country.
“In the Gujarat facility which Suzuki has set up, the first line of 2.5 lakh units has been already commissioned. Work is going on in the second and third lines that will increase the Gujarat plant capacity to 7.5 million units in two-to-three years. The fourth line of similar capacity is currently under review,” R C Bhargava, chairman of Maruti Suzuki India, said on the sidelines of the ACMA Conference.
The company will reach two million car sales in 2020 and 2.5 million cars two or three years later, he said.
On Tuesday, Bhargava had told shareholders that Maruti Suzuki would soon launch electric car models based on customer preference, so as to be present in all the segments and offer a better choice to them. He added that this was in tune with the government’s thrust to promote electric vehicles.
“Your company will not hold back in the segment. As soon as we can determine the customer preference we will come up with such models. In the meantime, focus will be to increase fuel efficiency (in current models) and bring in new technologies,” Bhargava had said.