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Suzuki to make motorcycles in India

Hamamatsu: Putting behind the bitter memories of separation from joint venture partner TVS Motor in 2001, Suzuki Motor Corporation (SMC) has announced that it would start motorcycle production in India by 2005. The Japanese company will begin with an investment of $10 million. "We will start production from the autumn of 2005 in India," said Shinzo Nakanishi, who has just taken charge of the Indian motorcycle venture. SMC was virtually forced to withdraw from its earlier two-wheeler joint venture with Chennai-based TVS Motor, which was producing two-wheelers under 'TVS-Suzuki' brand name. Its entry in the same arena was barred for three years as per the existing guidelines in India. The move assumes significance as India is the second largest two-wheeler market after China. SMC will initially look for a capacity of one lakh two-wheelers per annum. The company also acquired management control in its car joint venture Maruti Udyog (MUL) from the Indian government last year. But Nakanishi, also the MUL Chairman, clarified that the two-wheeler venture would be an entirely separate entity.

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