Despite slump, Maruti to go ahead with new plant in Gujarat

Maruti Suzuki India Ltd, the country's biggest automobile maker, is going ahead with its new plant in Gujarat despite the slump in the car market.

Following the announcement of its fourth quarter financial results on Friday, Maruti the country's largest carmaker also announced that its plan for a manufacturing facility in the state remains unchanged.

Suzuki Motor Corp chairman O Suzuki, along with Maruti Suzuki India chairman R C Bhargava and other company officials, paid what was called a courtesy visit to Chief Minister Narendra Modi in Gandhinagar. Suzuki told Modi that work on the company's Gujarat plant will commence shortly.

Maruti Suzuki is investing Rs4,000 crore to build a plant at Becharaji with a capacity of produce 250,000 cars per annum. The plant is expected to be ready by 2015-16.

The automobile industry as a whole is expecting reduced growth in sales this year. Yet Maruti Suzuki is expanding capacity with a long-term view, said an official of the company. Its expansion plans for Gujarat and other parts of the country are on track, he added.

It was expected that the board of the company would consider starting construction of the manufacturing facility at Becharaji.

''The matter was not on the agenda. But when we were asked about the Gujarat plant, we said that it is on track. Construction will begin on time and production will commence by 2015-16,'' said the official.