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Chennai will become global automobile hub soon: Stalin

Special Correspondent
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Government to enter into MoU with Mahindra & Mahindra soon

READY TO ROLL: Deputy Chief Minister M.K. Stalin inaugurating a plant at Oragadam on Wednesday. Apollo tyres chairman R. Onkar S Kanwar (left), vice-chairman and managing director Neeraj Kanwar and Labour Minister T.M. Anbarasan are in the picture. — Photo A. Muralitharan
READY TO ROLL: Deputy Chief Minister M.K. Stalin inaugurating a plant at Oragadam on Wednesday. Apollo tyres chairman R. Onkar S Kanwar (left), vice-chairman and managing director Neeraj Kanwar and Labour Minister T.M. Anbarasan are in the picture. — Photo A. Muralitharan

Proposed investments by auto majors in the coming days will make Chennai a global automobile hub very soon, according to Deputy Chief Minister M.K. Stalin.

Inaugurating a Rs.2,100-crore Apollo Tyre's next generation tyre manufacturing plant at SIPCOT Industrial Growth Centre at Oragadam on Thursday, he said that it was the vision of Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi to make Chennai a global automobile hub. The goal would be achieved very soon.

According to him, the State government will soon enter into an MoU with Mahindra & Mahindra for setting up a plant for production of 1.50 lakh SUVs with an investment of Rs.1,800 crore.

Discussions were in final stages with a global automobile major for setting up of a plant near Chennai with a production capacity of three lakh cars and investment of Rs.4,000 crore.

Sundareshwarar Alloy Steels would set up a tractor plant at Nilakkotai and a tractor component manufacturing plant at Gangaikondan with an investment of Rs.1,000 crore.

Mr. Stalin said that on the basis of the projects already implemented and in pipeline, Chennai would have installed capacity to produce 17 lakh cars, SUVs and tractors. The proposed investments would take the tally to nearly 22 lakh vehicles per annum making Chennai the number 1 automobile manufacturing centre in the world. Mentioning that they were successful in attracting tyre majors too, he said: “The total capacity in the tyre manufacturing in Chennai region is set to exceed 1,600 metric tonnes per day. This will make Chennai the largest tyre manufacturing centre in the country and one of the largest in the world. Chennai, therefore, is not only the car capital of India, but is also the tyre capital of India.”

After the establishment of five major R&D and vehicle development centre, Tamil Nadu had also emerged as knowledge-hub for the global automobile industry. The state-of-the-art automobile testing facility (NATRIP) in Chennai with an investment of Rs.500 crore would become operational in September, he said.

Apollo Tyres chairman Onkar S. Kanwar pointed to the lack of a Primary Health Centre (PHC) in that area and urged the government to set up a PHC. Mr. Stalin said that an ESI hospital would come up at Irungattukottai soon and Apollo hospitals would set up a 50-bed hospital at Sriperumpudur.

Mr. Kanwar described the new plant as the 9th tyre manufacturing unit globally and fourth in India. Currently, it produces 7,000 passenger vehicle tyres and 1,300 commercial vehicle tyres a day. At its terminal capacity, production was expected to reach 16,000 passenger vehicle tyres and 6,000 commercial vehicle tyres a day.

Principal Secretary, Industries, Rajeev Ranjan, urged the firms to spend three per cent of their profit on corporate social responsibility activities.

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