Samsung plans to double its smartphone production in India with a massive investment to expand its current Noida, Uttar Pradesh production line. The development will take place with land purchased next to the existing plant, and reports out of South Korea citing industry and government sources state that a groundbreaking ceremony to mark the project will take place on June 7. Samsung Electronics is set to spend 40 billion rupees (around $621 million), more than twice the amount that the company originally planned to invest when the expansion was first announced in October 2016. At that time, the company intended to invest 19.7 billion rupees (around $306 million).
The latest planned level of investment will allow Samsung to expand its production area at the Noida plant to 240,000 square meters from its current size of 120,000 square meters. This will result in an increase of phone production from 5 million units to 10 million units per month, latest reports indicate. The tech company also plans to double the number of refrigerators it produces in India, from the current 100,000 units per month to 200,000 units. The expansion move was first unveiled as part of Samsung's "Make In India" initiative, with hopes to increase Samsung's share in the Indian smartphone market. A Samsung executive recently said that products made at the Noida plant would eventually be exported, but could not say when exactly that would happen.
The Noida plant was established in 1996 and currently employs 4,000 people. Following the expansion, there could be at least 2,200 additional jobs for the local population as well as an increase in indirect jobs through suppliers. When the expansion plans were agreed with the Uttar Pradesh state government last year with a memorandum of understanding, the target was to complete the new plant by 2019, with smartphone production doubling by 2029, but recent reports don't clarify on that timeline. India is the world's second largest smartphone market, although feature phones are also still popular in the country. According to a recent market share report, Samsung holds more than a quarter of the smartphone market in the South Asian country, far ahead of rivals such as Xiaomi, Vivo, Oppo, and Lenovo. An update on the company's India-related plans might follow later this year.