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Auto major to set up unit in Gujarat

autos Updated: Oct 30, 2011 00:00 IST
Mahesh Langa
Mahesh Langa
Hindustan Times
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India's leading car maker Maruti Suzuki and Gujarat government has finalised the deal to set up the automobile major's new manufacturing plant at Becharaji in Mehsana district, North Gujarat with investment of Rs 4,000 crore in the initial phase.

For the last few months, consultations have been held between the Gujarat government and Maruti officials. The deal, subsequently, was approved by the Maruti Suzuki board of directors on Saturday.

Suzuki Motor Corporation chairman Osamu Suzuki and Maruti chairman RC Bhargava met chief minister Narendra Modi last month to discuss the proposed plant and subsequently, officials of the state government and the auto firm worked out the details of the deal.

"The plant will come up near Becharaji in 500 acre plot, which the state industries department has earmarked for the auto firm," a top official from the state industries said.

He added that Becharaji is strategically located and is a part of the ambitious Delhi-Mumbai industrial corridor (DMIC).

"From Becharaji, the company can export its cars from Mundra port in Kutch, as there is direct railway line. Also, entire North India, besides Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh, can be catered to by the Maruti with multiple connectivity options," he said, explaining why Becharaji was selected over Sanand, which houses Tata's Nano, Ford and French car maker Peugoet.

In May this year, Bhargava had met the chief minister and had announced that the company was exploring a location in Gujarat for setting up a plant where it could invest up to 18,000 crore in phased way to produce two million cars in the long run.

In September, French car maker Peugeot inked a deal with setting up is manufacturing plant in Sanand where Ford has already started building its factory. Both Ford and Peugeot have committed to invest over 9000 crore in Sanand in their respective factories and both factories will be ready for rolling out cars by 2014.

In 2008, Sanand hogged headlines when Tata Motors announced to shift its controversial car project Nano from Singur in West Bengal to Sanand in Gujarat. Last year, Tata Motors launched Nano production from Sanand unit.