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Suzuki postpones India auto plant opening amid sales slump

Country's top brand suffers as tight credit and insurance costs put off buyers

Suzuki, the top-selling automaker in India, is struggling with declining sales along with most manufacturers in the country. It expects unit sales to fall 20% in the year to March 2020 versus the previous year.   © Reuters

TOKYO/MUMBAI -- Japan's Suzuki Motor has postponed the opening of a new plant in western India, Nikkei has learned. The plant, originally scheduled to go online in April 2020, will now begin operating next July.

Suzuki's decision to postpone the startup is the latest in a string of efforts by Indian carmakers to deal with a softening market. Suzuki Motor Gujarat, a wholly owned local subsidiary, is building the new plant in the state of Gujarat. The $550 million factory will raise the company's capacity in India by 250,000 cars annually to 2.25 million.

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