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Suzuki Motor to spend $550m on new Indian plant

Japanese automaker aims to triple sales at its biggest market by 2030

Customers check out the Suzuki Baleno at a showroom in Ahmedabad, India.   © Reuters

TOKYO -- Suzuki Motor revealed Friday that it will construct a 60 billion yen ($547 million) plant in India that will boost capacity by double digits in the Japanese automaker's biggest market.

The plant will be the third operated by wholly-owned subsidiary Suzuki Motor Gujarat. It is slated to open in 2020 with a planned output capacity of 250,000 four-wheel vehicles a year. The finished products will not only be sold in India, but exported to South Africa and other countries.

The Japanese company also holds a 56.2% stake in local unit Maruti Suzuki India, which has an annual production capability of 1.5 million units. With the new factory, Suzuki's overall capacity in India will jump 13% to 2.25 million.

Suzuki is currently the best-selling automaker in India, controlling 50% of the market. Its new unit sales climbed 9% there to 1.75 million autos last year. Suzuki projects the Indian market will expand to roughly 10 million vehicles by 2030, which would equate to 5 million vehicles for the automaker if it maintains its share. The construction of the new plant is geared to help meet that demand.

The company also announced Friday that it has completed construction of Suzuki Motor Gujarat's second plant, which exclusively makes the Swift subcompact, as well as the opening of a powertrain plant. Its first plant, which opened in February 2017, makes the Baleno subcompact along with the Swift. The third facility will mark a total of 220 billion yen invested in India since Suzuki Motor Gujarat was established in 2014.

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