India’s leading state in industrialisation Gujarat is now emerging as the hub for car companies that are scouting for exclusive terminals which will provide them passage for car exports.
Maruti Suzuki has already zeroed in Mundra port and Special Economic Zone. The terminal is expected to be completed by early 2009. The terminal will cater exclusively to Maruti Suzuki cars developed and manufactured in India. The port is being built at a cost of Rs 100 crore, said Sandeep Mehta, CEO of the SEZ and the port.
Once operational, it will be India’s first dedicated terminal for cars. The port will handle around 2.50 lakh cars a year and the capacity will be further increased to 4 lakh unit in a couple of years.
Currently, Maruti Suzuki is exporting nearly 40,000 cars in India and the fully operation port will have a capacity to handle it five fold.
Car companies are now channelising their exports through Mumbai and Chennai sea ports. The Mumbai port facility is used by Tata Motors, Maruti Suzuki, Ashok Leyland, and Eicher Motors. This is because Mumbai port is the nearest available port for these companies. Similarly, companies with their bases in south India such as Hyundai and Ford are making use of Chennai Port.
Mitsubishi Motors is also looking for terminal with car handling facilities. It is exploring facilities like Mundra, Pipavav, Okha and Kandla in Gujarat. However, the company also wants the port terminal connected to a rail corridor. This will help movement of cars from north to south of the country by trains.
As India emerges as a major hub for car companies with more global cars going to be manufactured in India, adequate infrastructure is necessary. In this scenario, it is important to develop the ports to cater the fast growing auto sector.