With the presence of various auto companies having their manufacturing facilities near the city, making it as the Detroit of South Asia, auto giant Mahindra and Mahindra would also make a formal foray as the company has planned for setting up a manufacturing facility in Tamil Nadu with “big investments”, a senior government official said here today.

“Mahindra and Mahindra had also confirmed its decision on setting up a facility in Tamil Nadu. It will be for manufacturing vehicles (particularly three wheelers and passenger vehicles)”, Industrial Guidance and Export Promotion Bureau Executive Vice-Chairman M Velmurugan said here today.

Stating that the installed capacity of producing passenger cars currently ranks at 1.3 million per year, he said with the addition of the facility from Mahindra and Mahindra, the production would increase to 1.4 million units every year.

“once that happens, then every minute three cars will be manufactured from Chennai..”, he said at a seminar on India—Hiroshima Prefecture Business Matching Seminar 2010 organised by industry body Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).

While declining to comment about the investments proposed by Mahindra and Mahindra, he later speaking to reporters said they have allotted land near Cheyyar.

Currently Japanese automaker Nissan Motor India along with French automajor Renault, BMW, Ford and Hyundai Motor India have their manufacturing facilities near Chennai.

On the country specific clusters planned by Tamil Nadu Government, he said besides allotting land for Japan and Korea, Velmurugan said, “we have also planned to allot country specific parks for France and Italy in the Sriperumbudur industrial corridor“.

“The government has shortlisted three locations for setting up townships... but mostly it will be in the Sriperumbudur region”, he said.

Asked on the size of the land to be allotted for the companies in the country specific clusters, he said, “it will be based on their requests..”.

On the performance of IT and software exports made from India he said last year Tamil Nadu exported USD 10 billion exports compared to USD 8.5 billion registered previous year.

Hiroshima Prefecture Governor Hidehhiko Yuzaki in his speech said Tamil Nadu was having highly skilled employees every year. According to him there were 728 Japanese companies present in the country of which 404 were present in Tamil Nadu.