Upping its investments in India, Japan’s Suzuki Motor Corporation on Thursday announced fresh investments of around Rs 3,800 crore in Gujarat to add a third production unit. Additionally, it also announced, along with its partners Toshiba and Denso, an investment of around Rs 1,150 crore for a new unit to produce lithium ion batteries — a first by an auto firm in the country.
Suzuki had earlier already committed an investment of Rs 9,600 crore in building its plant in Gujarat which would make cars for Maruti Suzuki, in which it holds 56.2% stake. The plant, which would be fully-owned by SMC would make cars for Maruti on contract manufacturing basis.
The first line of the plant already got commissioned earlier this year which is currently making the popular hatchback Baleno, while work is on at the second line. With the announcement of the third line, the total investment in the Gujarat facility would go up to Rs 13,400 crore by Suzuki.
The lithium ion batteries plant, which would see an investment of Rs 1,150 crore would be a three-way JV between SMC (50%), Toshiba (40%) and Denso (10%).
According to Osamu Suzuki, chairman SMC, the third manufacturing unit will have a production capacity of 2.5 lakh units annually like the first two units while the engine plant, attached with the second unit would have a manufacturing capacity of around 5 lakh units per annum. The overall production capacity of SMC along with its Indian arm, Maruti Suzuki’s two plants in Haryana will increase to 22.5 lakh units annually when all the units get commissioned.
The second manufacturing line is expected to be operational by 2019 and would give a huge impetus to Maruti Suzuki’s target of achieving volumes of 2 million vehicles by 2020. “Our investment in Hansalpur (Gujarat) will generate employment for 10,000 people and along with that we will also build a school and hospital there,” Suzuki added.
Suzuki said as part of strategy for adapting to new technologies, SMC along with its partners Toshiba and Denso will invest $180 million (around Rs 1,151 crore) to manufacture lithium ion batteries. The batteries will be used for “hybrid vehicles manufactured in India and export these genuinely manufactured in India vehicles to international market”, Suzuki said.
The plant is expected to be operational from 2020, he said adding, “We plan to continue with our efforts to promote make-in-India programme further”.