Japan's Suzuki to invest $1.4 billion for EVs at India factory

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The logo of Maruti Suzuki India Limited is pictured on a car parked outside a showroom in New Delhi, India, February 29, 2016. REUTERS/Anindito Mukherjee

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NEW DELHI, March 20 (Reuters) - Suzuki Motor (7269.T) plans to invest 104.4 billion rupees ($1.37 billion) in its India factory to produce electric vehicles (EVs) and batteries, Maruti Suzuki India (MRTI.NS), majority-owned by the Japanese carmaker, said on Sunday.

It is the first major EV plan announced by Maruti Suzuki for India in a bid to align itself with a national strategy to reduce oil dependence and cut debilitating air pollution in major cities.

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, visiting his Indian counterpart, Narendra Modi, on Saturday announced $42 billion of investment in India over the next five years. read more

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Suzuki Motor Gujarat Private will invest 31 billion rupees by 2025 for increasing production capacity for battery EV manufacturing and 73 billion rupees for construction of plant vehicle batteries, the company said.

“Suzuki's future mission is to achieve carbon neutrality with small cars,” said Suzuki Motor president Toshihiro Suzuki.

Tata Motors (TAMO.NS) is the largest seller of electric cars in India, with rival Mahindra & Mahindra (MAHM.NS) and motor-bike maker TVS Motor (TVSM.NS) firming up their EV plans.

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Reporting by Aftab Ahmed and Aditi Shah; Editing by William Mallard

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