Japanese auto company Suzuki Motor Corporation Chairman Osamu Suzuki will be arriving in India this week to attend a board meeting of its subsidiary Maruti Suzuki on January 25.

Suzuki, who usually attends the Annual General Meeting of Maruti Suzuki India (MSI) around August-September, will be making a whirlwind trip at a time when the Indian arm is stepping up activities to set up its manufacturing facility in Gujarat.

“Suzuki is a member of the MSI board and so he is coming to attend its meeting this week. He can attend all board meetings of MSI and nothing unusual about it,” MSI Chairman R C Bhargava said.

Suzuki will reach India on January 24. He will attend the board meeting next day and will leave the country at night.

When asked why Suzuki is coming during this time, Bhargava said: “Usually he comes during the AGM. But this time he has got time, so he is coming.”

Last month, MSI had said it started spadework to set up its second facility in Gujarat with acquisition of another 600 acres, in addition to its existing plan to invest Rs 4,000 crore for setting up a plant in the state.

Asked specifically if Suzuki’s visit is related to its activities in Gujarat, Bhargava said: “There will be nothing related to Gujarat at this board meeting.”

The company had stated that it acquired the second land parcel, located about 40 km from the first site near Mehsana, for its future expansion once it exhausts the capacity at the first site.

MSI had last year announced to invest Rs 4,000 crore, its biggest ever outside Haryana, to set up a 700-acre new production facility in Gujarat by 2015-16. Besides, components suppliers of the company are also likely to make an equal amount of investment to set up their respective plants. The capacity in the first phase will be 2.5 lakh units a year.

The company expects about 6-7 per cent sales growth in 2013-14 after closing the current fiscal with about 6 per cent rise in vehicle sales.

Hit by an unprecedented violence at its Manesar plant and low sales, MSI had reported 5.41 per cent fall in net profit at Rs 227.45 crore for the quarter ended September 30, 2012.

Net sales during the second quarter of this fiscal, however, went up by 8.53 per cent to Rs 8,070.11 crore.

(This article was published on January 23, 2013)
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