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Suzuki's Gujarat plant to start operations in 2017

The logo of Suzuki Motors is displayed at the 44th Tokyo Motor Show in Tokyo. Photo: Reuters The logo of Suzuki Motors is displayed at the 44th Tokyo Motor Show in Tokyo. Reuters

Auto major Maruti Suzuki's parent company Suzuki Motor Corp said here on Tuesday that its car plant in Gujarat, with an envisaged total investment of Rs 18,500 crore, will begin operations from next year.

"As planned, operations will start in 2017. Our plan is going accordingly," Suzuki Motor Corp Chairman Osamu Suzuki told reporters after a meeting here with Finance Minister Arun Jaitley.

Japanese giant Suzuki Motor owns 56% of India's biggest car manufacturer Maruti Suzuki India Ltd (MSIL).

The Gujarat factory, which is Suzuki Motor's first wholly-owned car plant in India, will supply vehicles and components exclusively to MSIL. In the first phase, the facility will have a production capacity of 250,000 vehicles annually.

On the performance of the India unit, Suzuki said: "When it comes to Maruti Suzuki, the performance is going up very well. I am sure Maruti Suzuki has been loved by the Indian people. So I am very much satisfied."

To a question regarding the ban on registration of large diesel vehicles in Delhi, Suzuki said that, as automobile manufacturers, they are looking to reduce overall vehicle emissions.

"Diesel or gasoline, rather than driving the car into these categories, you really have to think of how to reduce the overall exhaust gas from automobile.That's what we are thinking at the manufacturers side," he said.

The ban on sale of large diesel cars and sport utility vehicles with engines of two litres or more was imposed by India's top court in the Delhi-NCR region in December following high pollution levels.