Japanese company Suzuki Motor said it plans to invest $1.37 billion in its India factory to produce all-electric vehicles and batteries, its India unit said earlier this week.
Maruti Suzuki India, which is majority-owned by the Japanese Suzuki Motor, said it is transitioning one of its factories in the country to produce electric vehicles in a bid to align with the national strategy to reduce oil independence and restrict air pollution in major cities.
Last weekend, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said the country would invest $42 billion in India over the next five years. Kishida met with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, whose Make in India campaign has encouraged companies to favor manufacturing in the country. Modi has placed emphasis on domestic manufacturing, which could help the country return to its prowess as a powerhouse in production.
Suzuki Motor Gujarat Private plans to invest 31 billion rupees, or around $406 million, by 2024 to increase the production capacity for battery electric vehicle manufacturing. An additional 73 billion rupees, or around $956,538,000, will be used to build “plant vehicle batteries,” according to a report from Reuters.
“Suzuki’s future mission is to achieve carbon neutrality with small cars,” Suzuki Motor president Toshihiro Suzuki said.
India has attracted many electric vehicle makers, including Tesla. Although, Tesla has not been able to launch any operations in the country as the company is not willing to commit to a massive investment without first testing demand. Tesla wanted to import vehicles from one of its other production facilities to test whether the country would purchase its products, but India’s government has been unwilling to agree to these terms. Indian government officials said Tesla must commit to building a manufacturing facility domestically if it wants to import cars to test demand.
Indian officials have also stated Tesla qualifies for hefty auto sector benefits in India, but the company has yet to apply for any.
The two companies have effectively come to a standstill on terms. However, it has not halted other automotive companies from committing to expanding operations in India. Hyundai, for example, announced it will launch six new BEVs in India by 2028. Ford also is eyeing India as a potential hub for electric vehicle manufacturing as the company recently split its company into two “divisions:” Model e for electric vehicles and Ford Blue for combustion engine projects.
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