The Japanese manufacturer Suzuki has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Indian state of Gujarat to construct a factory. According to the agreement, Suzuki will assemble both EVs and batteries there.
++ This article has been updated; please continue reading below. ++
The deal was signed with the Indian state of Gujarat in the presence of visiting Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and Indian counterpart Narendra Modi. According to Suzuki, the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) provides for investments of 150 billion yen or the equivalent of 1.14 billion euros in Gujarat.
The MoU was concluded by the subsidiary Suzuki Motor Gujarat Private Limited (SMG) with the state. SMG already has a large vehicle plant in Hansalpur Becharaji. It is the only plant in India wholly owned by Suzuki – all other plants are owned by Maruti Suzuki, which emerged from Suzuki’s acquisition of Indian manufacturer Maruti Udyong. In January 2020, we reported that Suzuki, Toshiba and Denso are building a battery cell factory for electric vehicles in Gujarat. The Automotive Electronics Power Pvt. Ltd (AEPPL) joint venture was established for this purpose and is owned 50 per cent by Suzuki, 40 per cent by Toshiba and ten per cent by Denso.
Suzuki has said that SMG will invest 370 million euros in the plant to increase BEV production capacity by 2025. In addition, 870 million euros will help to build the battery factory on land adjacent to the SMG plant by 2026 in Gujarat. At the same time, a joint venture – Maruti Suzuki Toyotsu India – will construct a vehicle recycling facility at the same site.
Whether this will be an assembly of purchased cells into ready-to-install battery packs or a complete cell production is as unclear as the planned production capacity or cell chemistry.
During the visit to India, Toshihiro Suzuki, deputy director and president of Suzuki Motor Corporation, said that “Suzuki’s future mission is to achieve carbon neutrality with small cars.” He added, “We will continue active investment in India to realize Self-reliant India (Atma-nirbhar Bharat).” Since a large part of the company’s production involves two-wheelers, it remains to be seen if the Japanese company has teed up production here, too, since India represents one of the world’s largest two and three-wheeler markets.
Gujarat is India’s westernmost state, bordering Pakistan and three other Indian states. Gujarat also has a coastline to the Arabian Sea. Around 60 million people live in the state.
Update 30 August 2022
Suzuki has laid the cornerstone of its battery, and EV factories in India announced above. The car plant in Kharkhoda in the Indian state of Haryana is scheduled to come on stream in 2025 with an initial annual capacity of 250,000 electric cars and the battery plant in Gujarat in 2026. Suzuki has yet to name the capacity of the latter. It also remains unclear whether the Japanese company will assemble purchased cells into battery packs there or whether it will be a complete cell production facility.
The ceremony marked the 40th anniversary of Suzuki’s Indian business. The ceremony was attended by Indian Prime Minister Modi and other officials.
– ADVERTISEMENT –