|Mundra Port, Gujarat, January 10, 2009: At a special event held at Mundra Port, the first export shipment of Maruti Suzuki's World Strategic Model A-star set out for Europe. The pilot consignment, comprising 1,534 A-star cars for export to the UK (1,458) and Italy (76), is expected to reach the European ports by early February 2009.
The shipment was ceremoniously flagged off by Mr. Shinzo Nakanishi, Managing Director & CEO, Maruti Suzuki India Limited, Mr. Sandeep Mehta, CEO, Container and Logistic Business, Mundra Port and Special Economic Zone Limited and Mr. Masahiro Kato, Director, Managing Corporate Officer, NYK Line, Japan.
The first shipment of A-star is historic on two counts: First, A-star, christened as Suzuki Alto in Europe, represents Suzuki's re-entry into the European small-car market and much effort and investments have been put in by Suzuki towards this project. Second, A-star, as a Made-in-India car, represents Maruti Suzuki aspirations as an Indian company to emerge as a global hub for manufacturing and exporting small cars.
Maruti Suzuki had unveiled the Suzuki World Strategic Model A-star in mid-November last year. The car has been tastefully designed keeping in mind the discerning European and Indian customers. The compact car with a brand new design is also one of the finest in terms of environment friendliness. Maruti Suzuki is looking forward to increase its export volumes manifold and enhance its presence in Europe through the A-star.
It was a momentous occasion for the three partners – Maruti Suzuki, country's leading car manufacturer, Mundra Port and Special Economic Zone Limited (MPSEZL), country's largest private sector port promoted by the Adani Group, and Nippon Yusen Kaisha (NYK), world's leading logistics provider from Japan – as the A-stars were being transported to the carrier mv Cassiopeia Leader.
Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Shinzo Nakanishi, Managing Director and CEO, MSIL, said, "We are delighted to partner Mundra Port and Special Economic Zone Limited and NYK line for this important initiative. Maruti Suzuki has ambitious plans for exports. Maruti Suzuki has the technology, skills and manufacturing capabilities to build global quality cars for international markets. However, to match our export ambitions, we needed infrastructure support like a dedicated car terminal. With this initiative and with partners like MPSEZL and NYK, we have confidence that our exports volumes would grow manifold. It is indeed a big leap in automotive logistics for India."
Mr. Sandeep Mehta, CEO, Container and Logistic Business, Mundra Port and Special Economic Zone Limited, said, "The Adani Group is determined to play an important role in logistics infrastructure development in the country. The dedicated car handling facility at Mundra Port coupled with specially designed car-tainers to carry cars safely from Manesar to Mundra is unique to India and Adani group is proud to be present on the global automotive logistics map."
|The newest entrant A-star is the most relevant car that addresses the needs of today's customers in terms of styling, design, fuel efficiency, environment friendliness, light weight and powered by a brand new, fuel-efficient K10B engine. As a world strategic model, it gives global quality and design to Indian customers at the same time as customers in Europe. For its outstanding attributes, the A-star has been awarded "Car of the Year" by Zigwheels and has been rated 'best small car of the year' by Autocar-UTVi.
In addition, the K10B engine also bagged the Engine Technology of the year award instituted by CNBC TV18 and Overdrive magazine. The car is being offered in over 200 variants and is expected to be exported to around 150 countries across Europe, Middle East, Latin America, Asia, Oceania and Africa.
The A-star is expected to contribute a significant number to the overall export target. Meanwhile, the port facilities are being enhanced to handle large volume exports, of over 200,000 units annually, by 2010-11. Maruti Suzuki will continue to route a portion of its exports through Maharashtra's Mumbai and Nhava Sheva ports.
The Suzuki Alto export consignment was transported to Mundra port from Maruti Suzuki's Manesar plant, on a specially designed Double-decker Auto Wagon Railway Rake.