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Maruti puts Gujarat plant on fast track

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Maruti Suzuki has pressed the accelerator on its Gujarat plans, as Suzuki Motor Corporation chief, Osamu Suzuki, is scheduled for a review meeting with top bureaucrats of the state tomorrow on faster implementation of projects.

Suzuki has priotised meeting with Gujarat Chief minister Narendra Modi over his Haryana counterpart B S Hooda, illustrating not only his fondness for Modi, whom he hosted last month in Japan, but also indicating the company’s seriousness to start work on the Gujarat project.

 

 

According to senior state government officials, Maruti Suzuki is likely to begin work at the Hansalpur site within the next three months.

Suzuki will visit Hansalpur near Mehsana on Saturday, the site for the proposed Maruti Suzuki plant.

Talking about the Gujarat project, R C Bhargava, chairman, Maruti Suzuki India Ltd, said, “The Gujarat project was always on fast track for us. However, building a plant has a minimum time frame, and cannot be executed faster than that.”

“Osamu Suzuki would be visiting the site for the proposed plant, however, no ground-breaking ceremony is planned on that day,” he told Business Standard. He would be accompanying Suzuki on his Gujarat trip.

Maruti has been allotted 700 acres at Hansalpur.

The company plans to set up a 250,000 units per annum plant at the site with an investment of Rs 4,000 crore by 2015-16. It has been allotted a second land parcel of around 300 acres recently, after it asked for more land near the existing site for future expansion or to house its vendors.

Regarding a timeline for roll-out of vehicles from the Gujarat plant, Bhargava said, “We have given an indicative date of 2015-16, however, as for the roll-out of cars, all depends on how the market behaves and what are our capacity issues.”

In July, after Modi’s return from Japan, Maheswar Sahu, principal secretary, industries and mines, government of Gujarat, had said, “Maruti Suzuki is working on designs, they are very serious about implementing the project in Gujarat. They will start production from the Gujarat plant by 2015. The phase two of the project would be developed depending on market conditions.”

As for Japanese auto component makers who might follow Maruti Suzuki to Gujarat, a senior industries department official confirmed that, so far no Japanese auto component maker has approached the state government for land near the upcoming Maruti plant.