Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Japan seems to have borne fruit. After Maruti Suzuki India choosing a site in Gujarat for setting up its plant there, leading auto-ancillary majors based in Hamamatsu, Japan, such as Yamaha, Toyota and Honda are likely to follow suit.
Suzuki Motor Corporation Chairman Osamu Suzuki on Friday met Modi and told him Gujarat would see a lot of vendors from Hamamatsu. The vendors would seek the government’s help in terms of allotment of land, infrastructure, etc, said R C Bhargava, chairman, Maruti Suzuki India.
In July, Modi had organised an investment meet at Hamamatsu, which was attended by 430 representatives from the automobile industry. “This was one of the biggest seminars in Hamamatsu, which has auto ancillary units of all major auto manufacturers such as Honda, Toyota, Nissan and Yamaha. These vendors showed great interest in Gujarat. They feel they need to consider investing here,” said Bhargava.
Talking to the media after meeting Modi, Suzuki said, “I have come to meet CM Modi for two reasons. First, express my thanks to him, as he had held an investment seminar in Hamamatsu.” The second reason, he said, was he wanted to visit Maruti’s proposed plant site there. “He (Suzuki) has come to Gujarat because he has never seen the site….it is difficult for him to invest up to Rs 4,000 crore without seeing the site,” Bhargava said.
On production at Maruti’s proposed plant in Gujarat, Bhargava clarified that would depend on market conditions. “Unless the market grows steadily here, there is no point in expanding, because you need customers to sell cars”, he said.
Bhargava stressed on the need to develop world-class infrastructure in Gujarat to support industry here. “The Gujarat government has already set up a committee to expedite infrastructure development in the area. Infrastructure would be developed according to Japanese standards and specifications, not only for Maruti, but also for all the vendors setting up plants in the area.”
Bhargava dismissed rumours of Maruti planning to shift production from the labour strife-hit Manesar plant to Gujarat, saying the move wasn’t sensible at all.