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Maruti to export 2.5 lakh cars

Harit Mehta  |  Ahmedabad 

May sign an agreement with Adani Group within a fortnight
Maruti Suzuki India may export around 2.5 lakh cars per annum from the Mundra port, operated by the Ahmedabad-based Adani group.
While Maruti Suzuki officials refused to comment, sources close to the development say Maruti Suzuki may sign an agreement with Adani group within a fortnight. The company will export its vehicles through a dedicated terminal at the port.
This will be a significant development for the state which is planning to become the India's hub for car exports.
Three months back a team of senior officials from Suzuki (Japan) was in Mundra to discuss the proposal.
Sources close to the development told Business Standard that initially Maruti may export vehicles from the new container terminal. Subsequently, however, the port authorities may build a dedicated berth for the car maker depending on export volumes.
Industry sources believe that Mundra has an added advantage over other ports in terms of land availability. "The biggest advantage of Mundra is the land availability. The Adanis, if need be, can offer adequate land to Maruti to park vehicles near the port," said an industry source.
Some time back, car manufacturer Nissan was exploring Gujarat's coastline. Suzuki and Nissan had last year proposed to export around 4 lakh cars, valued at over $3.2 billion, manufactured in their units in Gurgaon (Haryana), every year. These car makers were planning to use the ports in Gujarat to ship their products to the African and European markets.
In 2006, Japan had commissioned a study of potential port sites in the state for exporting vehicles. Japan's ministry of economy, trade and industry (METI) had roped in Pacific Consultants International (PCI), a Tokyo-based infrastructure consultancy firm, for the purpose.
Road and rail links with Haryana, where Maruti has created India's biggest car manufacturing facilities, make Gujarat's case stronger. Congestion at JNPT is an added advantage for Gujarat, say industry sources.

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First Published: Tue, December 25 2007. 00:00 IST