Maruti Suzuki is planning a fourth car plant in India, the company's chairman, RC Bhargava, has told The Nikkei business newspaper.

The company already has a 50% market share in India although the competition is getting stronger. The addition of a fourth factory, in the western state of Gujarat, would nearly double the unit's domestic production to about 3m vehicles annually and help boost exports to Europe and the Middle East.

Maruti Suzuki plans to start building its third plant in the district of Mehsana, also in Gujarat, in March and begin rolling out cars there by 2015. It has already purchased the land for the fourth factory which will launch production around 2017.

The carmaker already has production facilities in Manesar and Gurgaon in the northern state of Haryana. Gujarat extends into the Arabian Sea and has a number of good ports, including Mundra, making it a convenient export hub.