INDIA: At a program to celebrate 40 years of partnership between Maruti Suzuki and Suzuki Japan in India, Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid the foundation stones for two new projects of the Suzuki Group – the Suzuki Motor Gujarat electric vehicle battery plant in Hansalpur, Gujarat and the upcoming Maruti Suzuki vehicle. The manufacturing facility at Kharkhoda, Haryana.
The event was held at Mahatma Mandir, Gandhinagar, on Sunday. The Ambassador of Japan to India, H.E. Mr Satoshi Suzuki, Gujarat Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel, Maruti-Suzuki Chairman RC Bhargava, President Suzuki Motor T Suzuki and CEO Osamu Suzuki were also present on the occasion. Modi’s Japanese counterpart Fumio Kishida and Haryana CM Manohar Lal also appeared via video conference.
Suzuki Motor Gujarat Electric Vehicle Battery Manufacturing Plant is to be set up with an investment of around Rs 7,300 crore to manufacture electric vehicle (EV) batteries. The production capacity of the plant will be Rs 10 crore per annum. The first phase of the project will be set up with an investment of over Rs 11,000 crore.
Speaking at the event, Modi said, “The success of Maruti-Suzuki also signifies a strong partnership between India and Japan. In the last eight years, these relations between our two countries have reached new heights. Today, from the bullet train in Gujarat-Maharashtra to the Rudraksha centre at Banaras in UP, many development projects exemplify India-Japan friendship.“
The Prime Minister also remembered former Japanese Prime Minister late Shinzo Abe and said, “…when it comes to this friendship, every Indian surely remembers our friend, former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.” Modi, recalling when Abe came to Gujarat, said that the people of Gujarat remember it fondly. “Today, Prime Minister Kishida continues the efforts he has made to bring our countries closer together,” he added.
Bhargava said that Maruti Suzuki will start manufacturing EVs in Gujarat in 2035. Talking about the partnership between Maruti Suzuki and Suzuki Japan in the country, he said, “This partnership has shown that the combination of Japanese and Indian strengths leads to global competitiveness. …98% of our workers pay income tax and a large percentage own cars and houses. We understood the critical role of a robust and competitive supply chain.”
The Japanese Prime Minister praised Suzuki’s management for recognizing the potential of the Indian market and said, “I believe we owe this success to the understanding and support of the Indian people and government. In recent times, India’s economic growth has further accelerated due to various support measures for the manufacturing sector under the strong leadership of Prime Minister Modi.”
Kishida informed that many other Japanese companies have expressed their interest to invest in India and also highlighted the significance of this year as India and Japan commemorate 70 years of their relationship.
Highlighting the importance of India to the Suzuki Group, the President of Suzuki Motor said, “In the last fiscal, the Suzuki Group produced about 28 budget cars worldwide. Of this, more than 16 lac units, or about 60 per cent, were manufactured in India. Exports from India also reached an all-time high of around 2.4 lac units last year. Today, India plays a significant role as the global hub of automobile manufacturing in the Suzuki group.”
Suzuki also announced the launch of a new company, Suzuki R&D Center India, wholly owned by Suzuki Japan. He said the new company aims to “strengthen our R&D competitiveness and capability in new areas of technology not only for India but also for global markets. In addition, we will strengthen our ties with Indian academic institutes and start-ups to develop diverse human resources.”
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