Maruti mulling new facility in Gujarat

Maruti Suzuki India Ltd is mulling a new facility in Gujarat as it looks to broadbase its manufacturing across India for the first time.

Addressing a shareholder's meet today, MSIL chairman R C Bhargava said the auto major may take a decision in the next two to three months on building the Gujarat factory.

He added a delegation from the company, including Osamu Suzuki, chairman and chief executive of Maruti's parent Suzuki Motor Corp, would meet Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi and other senior government officials today to discuss the proposed factory.

Maruti, beset by labour problems at its Manesar factory in Haryana, which has hit production of one of its best-selling models, the Swift hatchback, may find Gujarat an attractive investment destination especially in view of its established port infrastructure that would facilitate global exports of its cars, unlike landlocked Haryana.

"This is still at an exploratory stage," Bhargava said, adding that the company was also considering other  locations in India for the new factory. He however, declined to give further details.

In May Maruti chief executive and managing director Shinzo Nakanishi said the company had plans to invest about Rs60 billion on a new plant that would open after 2015 and eventually have an annual capacity to roll out 1million vehicles.