Suzuki to commission third plant in Gujarat by 2020

PTI Gandhinagar | Updated on January 18, 2019 Published on January 18, 2019

Suzuki Motor Corporation (SMC) President Toshihiro Suzuki. File Photo   -  Reuters

To introduce new hybrid vehicles

Japanese auto maker Suzuki Motor Corporation Friday said it will commission its third plant in Gujarat by 2020 and will aggressively introduce new hybrid vehicles in India with technical support from Toyota.

Speaking here at the Vibrant Gujarat Global Summit here, Suzuki Motor Corporation (SMC) President Toshihiro Suzuki also sought an enabling policy support from the government to further invest in localisation of components of hybrid and electric vehicles.

SMC is making investments in Gujarat on a continuous basis. The first vehicle assembly plant of Suzuki Motor Gujarat was inaugurated in September 2017, he said. “The second plant will start shortly. We plan to commission the third assembly plant in 2020,” Suzuki said.

In a statement on Friday, SMC said it has started production of its hatchback Swift from the second plant in Gujarat. After three plants in operations, annual production capacity of Suzuki Motor Gujarat will be enhanced up to 7,50,000 units, he said. The company will also start production at its engine and transmission plant in the state shortly, he added.

Make in India

Suzuki said it will enable “us to bear fruit of integrated vehicle manufacturing in Gujarat“; and the state is becoming “more and more important as a production site for Suzuki group.” SMC is also currently constructing automotive lithium-ion battery manufacturing plant at Hansalpur in the state. “In addition to lithium-ion battery, we will localise other components required for vehicle electrification,” he added.

Stating that the technologies for hybrid and electric vehicles have similarity, Suzuki said it will first localise components of hybrid vehicles and then electric vehicles. Reiterating that SMC’s aim is to realise Real Make in India in the field of vehicle electrification, he said, “Together with an enabling policy support from the government of India, we can jointly think how to scale up our investment and depth of localisation.”

Acknowledging that the automobile industry is now entering a phase of great changes, Suzuki said, “Above all, we fully recognise the challenge to reduce CO2 to prevent global warming.” SMC is tackling this issue from various angles, he said, adding “As one of the solutions for CO2 reduction, we decided to introduce electric vehicles in India in 2020”.

The company’s Indian arm Maruti Suzuki India has been road testing 50 electric vehicles in the country. Suzuki also said it is critical to utilise existing technologies in addition to electric vehicles in order to reduce CO2 further. “In the Indian context, we firmly believe that hybrid and CNG vehicles are the most effective solution, with fastest results,” he asserted.

Reiterating that hybrid technologies are evolving at a rapid pace, he said SMC “will introduce cutting-edge hybrid vehicles aggressively with technical support from Toyota Motor Corporation”.

Published on January 18, 2019

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