Stung by a Volkswagen official’s statement that the German auto major has no plans to start a Rs 2,000-crore engine assembly unit in the state, the state government clarified on Saturday that such a proposal had indeed been discussed with representatives of Volkswagen Group India at ‘Emerging Kerala 2012: Global Connect’.
“A delegation representing Volkswagen Group India, including Mahesh Kodumudi, executive director, and Pankaj Gupta, head, external affairs, held discussions with Chief Minister O o m m e n Chandy and Minister for Industries and IT P K Kunhalikutty on September 11 and 12, respectively, in Kochi.
Volkswagen Group India expressed their interest in setting up an engine assembly unit in either Kochi or Thiruvananthapuram.
The proposal sought around three to five acres of land for setting up the facility, with an estimated total investment of Rs 2,000 crore,” an official statement said. The discussions with the Volkswagen officials were positive and the government intends to follow up the proposal.
Action will be taken to facilitate the project with due diligence, the statement further said.
On Saturday, Express carried a report titled ‘CM proposes, Volkswagen disposes Kerala plans’ quoting Alexander Schibit, spokesperson of Volkswagen India, saying that the company has no plans to invest Rs 2000 crore to set up an engine assembly unit in Kerala.
The report said that though the company is looking to set up a new engine assembly unit, Gujarat and not Kerala is the front-runner to house the project.
On Friday, the Chief Minister announced major project proposals with an investment mark-up of close to Rs 40,000, which came during the ‘Emerging Kerala’ meet.
However, within an hour, the Chief Minister retracted his statement and announced during a media briefing that the projects have not been finalised and that the monetary estimates cannot be assessed.
Correcting himself, the Chief Minister said that the volume of the projects can be finalised only after detailed scrutiny.