Friday, 22 July 2011

Bajaj planning car plant near Mundra




Bajaj Automobiles Ltd, one of the largest two-wheeler makers of the country, is now venturing into the four-wheeler market and is considering setting up its first car plant in Gujarat.
The company has zeroed in on Mundra to set up a manufacturing facility as it is keen on exporting cars, particularly to Africa. After Maruti, Ford and Peugeot, Bajaj is the fourth company that is planning to set up an automobile plant in Gujarat.
According to media reports, Bajaj wants to set up a plant for passenger cars with a capacity of more than 50 lakh units per annum. The plant is expected to require an investment of Rs1,000 crore.

An official of the Mundra Port and Special Economic Zone (SEZ) said that Bajaj has not approached them so far. However, industry sources said that Bajaj will set up the plant in Mundra but outside the SEZ. The sources said that Bajaj will buy 500 acres land outside the SEZ area from where it can both export and supply cars to the domestic market.
The company would need around 500 acres of land to set up the huge plant it is planning as well as space for vendors. Of the 50 lakh cars the plant is expected to manufacture per year, 60% will be exported, the sources said.
Media reports said the MD of the company, Rajiv Bajaj is expected to meet Gujarat government officials with his team by the end of this month. S Ravikumar, vice-president (business development) Bajaj Automobiles, was not in the country but when contacted by cellphone, did not deny or confirm the reports. "I will talk about it once I am back in India," he said in a text message.
Bajaj is the fourth company to show interest in setting up an automobile plant in Gujarat. "Negotiations are still on with Maruti, Ford and Peugeot as the Gujarat government has not yet received any confirmation from any of the three automobile companies.
In the case of Bajaj, however, we have come to know from the media that the company is also interested in coming to Gujarat," said an official of the state government.

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