Gujarat: The new export hub for Indian auto companies?

The State of Gujarat is, it seems, on its way to becoming an important auto export hub in the country, with many auto manufacturers coming in to invest in its ports, to set up automobile handling terminals.

The Mundra port in Gujarat, which was developed by the Mundra Port and Special Economic Zone (MPSEZ), will have a car export terminal operational in the first quarter of 2009. Meant exclusively for Maruti cars, the terminal is being set up at a cost of about Rs 100 crore.

India’s first dedicated car export terminal at the Mundra port will be able to handle 250,000 units of Maruti cars per annum, which would be raised to 400,000 units by the year 2010. Maruti Suzuki already exports 40,000 cars per annum, and wants to increase this figure to 200,000 units by 2010.

Mitsubishi Motors is also said to be looking for port facilities in Gujarat – the company is considering locations like the Vansi Borsi port and the Maroli port, where it can set up a car-handling terminal. Mitsubishi is also looking at options for setting up exclusive terminals at existing ports like Mundra, Pipavav, Okha or Kandla.

Currently, Mumbai and Chennai are the two major ports that handle auto exports. Tata Motors, Maruti Suzuki, Ashok Leyland and Eicher Motors depend on the Mumbai port, while Hyundai and Ford export cars through the Chennai port.

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