New Delhi: Japan's Suzuki Motor Corporation (SMC) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Gujarat to invest approximately 150 billion yen (approximately Rs 10,440 crore) for the local manufacturing of electric vehicles (BEV) and BEV batteries.
The MoU was signed on March 19, 2022 at the Indo-Japanese Economic Forum held in New Delhi in the presence of Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Fumio Kishida, who was on a two-day trip to India on Saturday, announced a 5 trillion yen ($42 billion) investment in India over the next five years during a meeting with Narendra Modi.
“Suzuki’s future mission is to achieve carbon neutrality for small cars,” said Toshihiro Suzuki, representative director and president of Suzuki Motor Corporation. "We will continue to invest actively in India to realize self-sufficient India (Atma Nirbhar Bharat)," he added.
According to the MoU, Suzuki Motor Gujarat Pvt Ltd (SMG), which is owned by Suzuki Motor Corporation, will invest Rs 7,300 crore to build a battery plant near SMG's auto manufacturing unit by 2026. SMG will invest another Rs 3,100 crore for ramping up production capacity for electric vehicles by 2025.
The signing of the MoU is a very important step for the ambitions of electric vehicles in India and for the country's largest automaker, Maruti Suzuki, as it marks its entry into the field of electric vehicles. So far, SMC's India arm, Maruti Suzuki, has been criticized for being a late participant, with rival automaker Tata Motors launching several battery-powered cars and other automakers such as Hyundai and MG Motor have an EV in their portfolio.
While it is not known exactly when Maruti Suzuki will start introducing electric vehicles in India, the company's top executives have previously stated that they will not see an electric vehicle launch until at least 2025.