Carmakers are coming back in droves to Maharashtra. In two separate commitments, Mahindra and Mahindra (M&M) and Tata Motors have announced a total investment of Rs 10,000 crore in Chakan, a suburb of Pune.
While Tata Motors will be investing Rs 6,000 crore over a five-year period to upgrade its existing plant and to set up a vehicle testing facility in Chakan, M&M will invest Rs 4,000 crore in a spanking new plant to manufacture medium and heavy commercial vehicles.
The new greenfield factory will build vehicles for the joint venture company, Mahindra International, and other products slated to hit both the domestic and global markets. M&M’s greenfield plant will have a capacity of 300,000 vehicles a year.
The investments were part of a Rs 25,000 crore commitment by various car companies to invest in Maharashtra, said V. K. Jairath, principal secretary, department of industries, government of Maharashtra. There were more announcements in the pipeline, he indicated. The Rs 6,000 crore committed by Tata Motors would create direct employment opportunities for 1,500 people, and many more in the ancillaries businesses, said Ravi Kant, Managing Director, Tata Motors.
The development symbolises a return of the auto industry to Maharashtra. Both M&M and Tata Motors have been variously said to be Maharashtra companies, as chief minister Vilasrao Deshmukh pointed out at an event announcing the signing of the deals in Mumbai today.
“We had gone out of Maharashtra, but this government has assured us of cooperation, and reinstated our confidence in the state,” said Kant. His sentiment was echoed by Keshub Mahindra, chairman, Mahindra group. “M&M’s new investment at the upcoming Chakan facility, besides contributing to the state’s economic growth, will also produce jobs for locals in that region,” he said.
Chakan is Pune’s answer to automobile hubs in other parts of the country, including Gurgaon and Delhi. The Pune suburb now has four major carmakers, apart from numerous spares manufacturers.