The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi addressed a programme marking the commemoration of 40 years of Suzuki in India, being held at Mahatma Mandir, Gandhinagar, today. Ambassador of Japan to India, H.E. Mr Satoshi Suzuki, Chief Minister of Gujarat, Shri Bhupendra Patel, Member of Parliament, Shri C R Patil, State Minister, Shri Jagdish Panchal, Ex-President of Suzuki Suzuki Motor Corporation, Mr O Suzuki, President of Suzuki Motor Corporation, Mr T Suzuki, and Chairman of Maruti-Suzuki, Shri R C Bhargava were those present on the occasion. Chief Minister of Haryana, Shri Manohar Lal addressed via video conferencing and a video message from the Prime Minister of Japan H.E. Mr Fumio Kishida was also screened.
Prime Minister Kishida of Japan conveyed his greetings for the occasion and said that the growth of Maruti Suzuki over the course of 4 decades embodies robust economic ties between India and Japan. He lauded the management of Suzuki for recognizing the potential of the Indian market. “I consider that we owe this success to the understanding and support of the people and government of India. Recently, Indian economic growth has been further accelerating due to various assistance measures for the manufacturing sector guided by the strong leadership of Prime Minister Modi”, he said. He informed that many other Japanese companies have expressed their interest to invest in India. He also underlined the importance of this year as India and Japan mark 70 years of their relationship. “Together with Prime Minister Modi I am determined to undertake the efforts to further develop the ‘Japan-India Strategic and Global Partnership” and to realize a “Free and Open Indo Pacific”, he added.
Addressing the gathering, the Prime Minister congratulated everyone associated with Suzuki Corporation. “The association of Suzuki with the families of India is now 40 years strong”, he said. The Prime Minister said “the success of Maruti-Suzuki also signifies the strong India-Japan partnership. In the last eight years, these relations between our two countries have reached new heights. Today, from the bullet train in Gujarat-Maharashtra to the Rudraksh centre in Banaras in UP, many development projects are examples of India-Japan friendship.” The Prime Minister continued “and when it comes to this friendship, every Indian definitely remembers our friend, former Prime Minister Late Shinzo Abe.” Recalling when Abe San came to Gujarat and spent his time here, the Prime Minister said that it is fondly remembered by the people of Gujarat. “Today PM Kishida is taking forward the efforts he made to bring our countries closer”, he added.
The Prime Minister recalled the arrival of Suzuki in Gujarat 13 years ago and remembered Gujarat’s confidence to present itself as a good model of governance. “I am happy that Gujarat kept its promise with Suzuki and Suzuki too kept Gujarat’s wishes with the same dignity. Gujarat has emerged as a top automotive manufacturing hub in the world”, he said. Emphasising on the relationship that has existed between Gujarat and Japan, the Prime Minister said that it has been higher than diplomatic dimensions. “I remember when the Vibrant Gujarat Summit was started in 2009, since then Japan was associated with it as a partner country”, the Prime Minister said. He remembered his resolve to create a mini Japan in Gujarat to make Japanese investors at home in Gujarat. Many small measures were taken to realize this. The creation of many world-class golf courses and restaurants with Japanese cuisines and the promotion of Japanese language are some such examples. “Our efforts always carried seriousness and respect for Japan, that is why about 125 Japanese companies along with Suzuki are operational in Gujarat”, he added. JETRO run support centre in Ahmedabad is providing plug-and-play facilities to many companies. Japan India Institutes for Manufacturing are training many people. The Prime Minister noted the contribution of ‘Kaizen’ in the development journey of Gujarat. The Prime Minister said that facets of Kaizen were applied by him in PMO and other departments also.
Highlighting one of the great features of electric vehicles, the Prime Minister said that they are silent. Be it 2 wheeler or 4 wheeler, they don’t make any noise. “This silence is not only about its engineering, but it is also the beginning of a silent revolution in the country”, he said. As part of the government’s efforts to strengthen the EV ecosystem, the Prime Minister said that various incentives are being provided to Electric Vehicle buyers. The government has taken numerous steps such as rebates in income tax and simplifying the loan process. “To boost the supply, work is also being carried out at a fast pace to introduce PLI schemes in automobile and automobile components manufacturing”, the Prime Minister said. A lot of policy decisions have also been taken to prepare a robust electric vehicle charging infrastructure. “A battery swapping policy has also been introduced in the 2022 Financial Budget”, the Prime Minister said. “It is a certainty that with the strengthening of supply, demand and ecosystem, the EV sector is going to progress”, he added.
The Prime Minister remarked that India has announced in COP-26 that it will achieve 50% of its installed electrical capacity from non-fossil sources by 2030. “We have set a ‘Net Zero’ target for 2070”, the Prime Minister said. The Prime Minister expressed happiness that Maruti Suzuki is also working on things like biofuel, ethanol blending and hybrid EVs. The Prime Minister also suggested that Suzuki start work on projects related to compressed biomethane gas. The Prime Minister also wished that a better environment be created for healthy competition and mutual learning. “It will benefit both the nation and the business”, he said. “It is our goal that India becomes Aatmnirbhar for its energy needs in the next 25 years of Amrit Kaal. As a major part of energy consumption is in the transport sector, innovation and efforts in this sector should be our priority. I am confident we will be able to achieve this”, he concluded.
During the event, the Prime Minister laid the foundation stones of two key projects of the Suzuki group in India – the Suzuki Motor Gujarat Electric Vehicle Battery Manufacturing Facility at Hansalpur, Gujarat and Maruti Suzuki’s upcoming vehicle manufacturing facility in Kharkhoda, Haryana.
The Suzuki Motor Gujarat Electric Vehicle Battery Manufacturing Facility at Hansalpur, Gujarat will be set up with an investment of around Rs. 7,300 crores to manufacture Advance Chemistry Cell batteries for Electric Vehicles. The vehicle manufacturing facility in Kharkhoda, Haryana will have the potential to manufacture 10 lakh passenger vehicles per year, making it one of the largest passenger vehicle manufacturing facilities at a single site in the world. The first phase of the project will be set up with an investment of over Rs. 11,000 crores.