Suzuki is to set up a research and development centre complete with a test course in India to develop cars for the local market.

The base will be located in Rohtak in the northern state of Haryana, 70km northwest of New Delhi. Suzuki will be the first foreign car company to set up such a facility in the country.

Local subsidiary Maruti Suzuki has signed an agreement with the state government to build the base on a 2.8 sq. kilometre site in Rohtak. The move is part of a previously announced plan to invest a total of JPY200 bn to increase its presence in India. The new R&D base will cost around JPY20 bn.

Maruti Suzuki said it intends to expand its team of R&D engineers by 40% to 1,000 people by the end of March next year. It added that it has just recruited eight engineers from Detroit  who will join the company in India in the next two months.