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Honda to invest over 92B rupees in India in bid to strengthen market foothold

Honda Motor Co. Ltd. is set to invest over 92 billion Indian rupees to construct a third factory in India in a bid to strengthen its operations in one of the company's most critical markets globally, the Times News Network reported Oct. 10, citing Honda Cars India president & CEO Gaku Nakanishi.

The Japanese car major is in the process of acquiring a 380-acre site in Gujarat that will serve as the location for the new factory, the report said. Honda's other two factories in India are in Greater Noida, Uttar Pradesh and in Tapukara, Rajasthan.

"The new investment — which we plan to make over the next decade — signals our commitment towards the growth potential in the Indian car market and underlying strength here," noted Nakanishi. It is the largest investment the Japanese company has made in India since it began operations there in 1998, the report said.

The new site will serve as a launchpad for hybrid and electric vehicles as well as for driving in new models and upgrades, the report said.

Honda expects to begin its foray into electric vehicles in India within the next three years, the report said, citing Nakanishi, who declined to specify a timeframe for the launch of Honda's Clarity electric vehicle range in India.

Maruti Suzuki India Ltd., Hyundai Motor Co. and Nissan Motor Co. Ltd. have already announced moves to explore India's electric vehicle market.

As of Oct. 9, US$1 was equivalent to 74.08 Indian rupees.