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AUTOMOBILES - SUZUKI PLANT

New Suzuki plant in India for diesel engines, assembly soon

* Await 2.5 lakh units production per year 

* New factory to be regional hub 

A DANCEWITHSHADOWS REPORT
13/9/2004

 

Tokyo, Sept 13:  

Suzuki Motor Corp will build in India a 10 billion yen ($91 million) diesel engine factory and a second car assembly plant to boost its Indian presence. Suzuki already has a huge market in India through its Indian subsidiary Maruti Udyog Ltd. Suzuki, one-fifth owned by General Motors, said the engine plant will have annual capacity of 1 lakh units, with output to start in late 2006. But Suzuki is seeing more. Chief executive Osamu Suzuki said, however, that he expected output to reach as many as 250,000 units a year. "We think itís possible to produce 100,000 units for India, and another 100,000 for export to Southeast Asia," he announced at the companyís unveiling of the remodelled Alto for Japan. 

"But I think demand in India alone could reach 200,000 units, while strong exports could be expected for Pakistan, Indonesia and maybe China," he later told a small group of reporters. 

Maruti had earlier said that it would build the 1.3-litre diesel engines, for which Suzuki had signed a licensing agreement with Fiat and Adam Opel. But Suzuki says it has decided to form a separate wholly owned company for the project. 

"We plan to make this our production base for diesel engines for the region," CEO Suzuki said. Maruti Udyog will, however, jointly own with Suzuki another new company to build Suzukiís second car assembly plant in Manesar, Haryana province, about 40 km (25 miles) southwest of Delhi and also the site of the new diesel engine plant.

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