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|5th August 2013, 19:34||#1|
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Maruti Suzuki could set up an assembly facility in South Africa
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India's largest car maker Maruti Suzuki, is faced with falling sales amid difficult economic conditions. The slowdown also presents opportunity for automakers to look outward and boost exports. Two wheeler makers such as TVS Motors and Hero MotoCorp have just set shop in African countries by means of assembly facilities. Maruti Suzuki could be the latest Indian automaker exploring such an option.
Note: Maruti Suzuki Alto 800 image used as an illustration.
According to a source-based report on TheHinduBusinessLine, Maruti Suzuki officials have been regularly visiting South Africa, apparently to study the feasibility of setting shop in the rainbow nation. The plans of an assembly facility in South Africa is said to be a long term one even as Maruti Suzuki Chairman, Mr R.C. Bhargava, was prompt to dismiss the reports with "We're not thinking of anything as such. We hardly have exposure to South Africa.".
While Mr Bhargava's second statement is indeed true with Maruti having next to no exposure in the South African car market, the car maker does have significant interests in other parts of the African continent. In fact, Africa has emerged as the one of the largest export destinations for Maruti Suzuki. It may be noted that Maruti Suzuki has begun construction of a greenfield manufacturing facility at Hansalpur, Gujarat. A 3,500 Crore Rupee budget is being allotted towards the Gujarat factory.
Maruti Suzuki's parent company, Suzuki Motor Corporation, has made the former responsible for exports to markets in Africa, West Asia and neighboring countries. Maruti Suzuki's Gujarat factory, with its proximity to well developed port infrastructure, is expected to be a vital cog in the car maker's export push. In light of these development, an assembly unit at South Africa does seem a distinct possibility as Maruti Suzuki could export cars and commercial vehicles in completely knocked down (CKD) kit form, for assembly at its African facility.
The South African assembly unit could take 3-4 years to fructify. The upcoming Y9T mini pick up truck could also be headed to Africa as demand for such commercial vehicles in Africa, where they're known as Bakkies, is high.
Last edited by JayPrashanth : 5th August 2013 at 19:36. Reason: News Link Added
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