Maruti Gujarat plan

New Delhi, Dec. 22 (PTI): Maruti Suzuki India today said it had started spadework to set up its second facility in Gujarat with the acquisition of another 600 acres, in addition to its existing plan to invest Rs 4,000 crore for setting up a plant in the state.

The company said it expected about 6-7 per cent sales growth in 2013-14 after closing this fiscal with about a 6 per cent rise in vehicle sales. The country's largest car maker also said it would not enter the premium segment of passenger cars in India and will "protect" its image of a small car manufacturer.

"We have land at two locations in Gujarat. The first one is offered by the government and the second one is a private land that is directly acquired by us with some negotiations by the government," Maruti Suzuki India chairman R.C. Bhargava told reporters here.

The company has acquired about 600 acres, located about 40km from the first site near Mehsana, he said.

"The second location is for our future expansion. Once we exhaust the capacity at the first site, we will move to the second one," Bhargava said. He, however, did not share details of when the firm would start construction at the second site.

Asked if Maruti is shifting its focus from Haryana where it has witnessed severe labour unrest, Bhargava said: "We are not moving away from Haryana. We have two plants in the state and going to Gujarat after utilising the capacity completely at Gurgaon and Manesar. We will do the same once we exhaust the capacity in Gujarat also."

He said the company would do the ground breaking ceremony for the Gujarat facility early next year.

Maruti had earlier announced plans to invest Rs 4,000 crore to set up a 700-acre new production facility in Gujarat by 2015-16.