Japanese auto giant Honda Cars India Ltd, which was in talks with Gujarat government since mid-2014 for setting up a plant in this upcoming auto hub, is now actively acquiring land for its third plant in the country in Vithalapur, near Ahmedabad. The company, however, maintained that this is part of its long-term India plan and nothing immediate.
Business Standard had first reported that following its group company Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India (HMSI), the car major was in active talks with state government here to set up a facility.
This would also be Honda Cars first plant in India which would have proximity to ports, and thereby a potential to export out of the site.
The company is buying land from locals and therefore the process is a time consuming one. The location of the site is strategic as it is near the upcoming plant of Suzuki Motor Corporation, and is also about 40 kms from Sanand, the flagship auto cluster of Gujarat which houses Tata Motors and Ford India.
Around 380 acres have been identified and the process of acquisition is still on, the company informed. A company spokesperson said, "Honda Cars India Ltd (HCIL) is still in the process of acquiring land in Gujarat for future growth. The land acquisition is still not complete and we are not in a position to share any more details about the project as of now."
She also noted that HCIL has sufficient production capacity at its two plants in Greater Noida in Uttar Pradesh and Tapukara in Rajasthan to meet the current and near-future demand in the Indian market. "We are investing in Gujarat from long-term, future growth perspective," she added.
It currently has an installed capacity of 240,000 units and its annual sales is roughly around 200,000 units in India at the moment.
HCIL's first manufacturing unit was set up at Greater Noida in 1997. The green field project is spread across 150 acres and has an annual production capacity of 120,000 units. HCIL's second plant in Tapukara is the first car manufacturing plant in the state of Rajasthan.This facility is spread over 450 acres and has an annual production capacity of 120,000 units. HCIL started the production of cars from its Tapukara Plant from February 2014.