India's ambitious EV push gets ignited, Maruti Suzuki enters fray

Suzuki JV With Toshiba Denso To Set Up Electric Car Battery Plant In Gujarat

In a further boost for the state of Gujarat, Maruti's Japanese parent Suzuki Motors announced on Thursday its decision to set up a manufacturing factory for electrical cars in Gujarat which would make electric vehicles for India and the world.

Suzuki Motor, the Japanese parent of India's largest passenger vehicles maker Maruti Suzuki India Ltd (MSIL), is gearing up to produce affordable electric vehicles for the Indian market.

The lithium battery plant of Suzuki in Gujarat would see an investment of Rs1,151 crore ($180 million). It also plans to invest around ₹1,150 crore for a new lithion-ion batteries production unit.

Maruti Suzuki has already exhausted its annual capacity of 15 lakh units in Haryana and has earmarked the setting up a second production plant in Gujarat by 2019.

Japanese auto giant Suzuki Motor Corp. on Thursday announced fresh investments of about $0.6 billion or nearly ₹3,900 crore in Gujarat to add a third vehicle production plant at the Hansalpur facility.

With electric cars market developing at a rapid race, the traditional vehicle makers are now jumping into the tech space for future cars. It is also planning Plant C with a similar capacity taking the total production capacity of the plant to 7.5 lakh units.

The first plant at Hansalpur is now producing premium hatchback Baleno.

Osamu Suzuki, chairman of Suzuki, said that the joint venture's production would be directed towards hybrid vehicle requirements. Suzuki started making direct investments in India for manufacturing vehicles and engines after Maruti - where it holds almost 56% stake - exhausted its annual capacity of 15 lakh units in Haryana (through factories in Gurgaon and Manesar). The work on the third plant will follow thereafter. The Hansalpur facility will create employment for 10,000 people. "For the last 35 years, we have been working towards "Make in India" with you all", Suzuki chairman Osamu Suzuki said at a business leaders' meet in Gujarat where PM Narendra Modi and his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe were also present.

The lithium ion batteries plant is expected to go operational by 2020. Globally, Suzuki also does not have effective technology in the sphere and sought partnerships, first with Volkswagen AG; and now Toshiba and Denso, to beef up its presence in the space.

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