Suzuki Motor to build new auto plant in India: report

TOKYO, September 5, 2009 (AFP) – Japan’s Suzuki Motor Corp. plans to build a new plant in India in 2011 in a bid to meet growing demand for cars in the country, a newspaper reported on Saturday. The manufacturer of small cars and motorcycles plans to invest about 30 billion yen (323 million dollars) in construction of a plant with annual production capacity of 300,000 vehicles, the Nikkei business daily said.

The firm will build the plant near its production base in Manesar near New Delhi, where Suzuki has already been producing some 300,000 units a year with its Indian partner, according to the daily’s evening edition.

Vehicle manufacturers see huge potential in countries such as India and China, with their billion-plus populations. In July, Indian car sales jumped for a sixth straight month, climbing an annual 31 percent.

India is one of the world’s least penetrated car markets with just seven autos per 1,000 people compared with 850 cars per 1,000 people in the United States.

Immediate confirmation of the report was not available.