Suzuki chief meets Modi; says work on Gujarat plant to start soon
Gandhinagar: Chairman of Japan's Suzuki Motor Corp (SMC) Osamu Suzuki on Saturday met Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi and informed him that the board of company's Indian subsidiary MSI has decided to start the work at Gujarat plant.
Top company officials, who also planned to carry out detailed inspection of the site at Hansalpur near Becharaji in Mehasana district tomorrow, said as per their schedule the manufacturing would start from the plant by 2015-16.
"This morning we had a meeting of the company's board in New Delhi. The board decided that we should begin the work at Becharaji in Gujarat. We have come here to inform about this decision to the Chief Minister and also give a courtesy call to him," Maruti Suzuki India (MSI) Chairman R C Bhargava told reporters after the meeting with Modi here.
Suzuki, Bhargava and company Managing Director and CEO and Kenichi Ayukawa called on the Chief Minister here tonight.
During the meeting, Modi said that with this decision, Becharaji would develop as an automobile hub in future.
Replying to a question on tomorrow's planned visit to the plant site, Bhargava said: "We shall be going tomorrow to the site for a visit to take a look how are the villages and what is the approach to them."
MSI has acquired 600 acres of land in Hansalpur, where Bhargava said that Maruti and vendors will set up their units. The plant output will be 2.5 lakhs car per annum.
Bhargava also said, "No formal ground-breaking ceremony will be held at Hansalpur, but one fine day you will see work going on their."
Maruti has also acquired another 500 to 600 acres of land in Vitthalpur about 40 kms from the first site for their second plant in the state. Maruti is setting up two plants in the state.
When asked about the acquisition of land parcel for MSI's second proposed plant in Gujarat, Bhargava said, "For the second plant, 500 to 600 acres of land was to be acquired. One portion has been acquired and am not sure about the remaining portion."
He clarified that first unit proposed at Mehsana will come up with an investment of between Rs 2,000 to 2,200 crore.
Speaking about the company's result, he said, "For the last few years, we have been focusing on reducing cost and improving quality.
"So the results are much better than market expectations. Depreciation of yen was also one of the major factors, but we have been successful in reducing the cost and results will improve further".
Defying tough market conditions, country's largest car maker Maruti Suzuki today reported its highest ever quarterly profit at Rs 1,147.5 crore for the period ended March 31, up 79.4 per cent from the same quarter a year ago.
In a reply to a media query about new car models to be launched in the Indian market, the MSI chairman said, "Maruti launches a new model every year and we will continue with that tradition."
MSI had signed a state support agreement (SSA) with the Gujarat government for the purchase of land near Mehsana to set up a greenfield facility, in June last year and it has also acquired another parcel of land 40 kilometres away from the first site for its proposed second plant in Gujarat.