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An Exclusive Port for Cars

By Motortrend India Staff   |   15 January,2008

India so far did not have a dedicated terminal on sea ports for car exports. But now the first such terminal is coming up at the Mundra Port in Gujarat. The Adani group-owned Mundra Port along with the Mundra Port Special Economic Zone has entered into an agreement with the Japanese car manufacturer Suzuki to create this terminal. Such a dedicated terminal has become necessary as several car manufacturers head towards India and its lucrative auto market.

Car majors like Hyundai, Nissan, Renault, Suzuki, and Toyota have been shifting large volumes of their production facilities to India. But the related infrastructure required to help them perform this efficiently is sadly lacking. All these companies will be exporting large number of cars from India to Europe, USA, Japan, and South East Asia. Many other companies like Skoda, BMW, and Mercedes-Benz have also shifted their assembling units to India in order to get easy access to South-Asian markets. Therefore, it was only a matter a time before the government woke up and decided to make life easier for these people who are bringing business to the country.

Mundra Port is a deep water sea port which is easily accessible to production facilities located at Delhi, Gurgaon, and Manesar. Along with Maruti Suzuki, Nissan has also shown interest in helping to set up the terminal. A fully equipped port will be able to manage 4 Lakh cars annually. Apart from shipping costs, other costs such as port maintenance, trained employees for last minute emergencies, paint shops for final touchups, and other facilities will be required. Thus, the overall cost will come close to Rs 3,000 Crore.

The SEZ officials have planned to dedicate 50 acres of land for car manufacturing and storage space. In order to reduce human intervention during transport, plans are to set up an electronically guided infrastructure at the SEZ.

Maruti Suzuki in India currently exports close to 40,000 cars, but the company is planning to increase it by five times within two years. The company is presently routing its exports through the JN port at Nhava Sheva in Gujarat, which handles multiple goods. Hence, there was a need to look for a dedicated terminal. Mundra Port was zeroed in after the company official from Japan visited the spot and gave the go-ahead signal.

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