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Maruti Suzuki reopens its Manesar factory

Maruti Suzuki’s Manesar factory was reopened last Tuesday just in time for the festival season in India. It was shut down last July 18 ago after a riot, which was preceded by months of labor unrest. The riot had led to the death of a manager and injuries of over 100 people. Plenty of police officers were on hand during the reopening of the plant to secure the main gate. More than 1,200 police officers were stationed in other areas of the site.

The plant’s closure had resulted to a loss in output amounting to over $250 million. Maruti Suzuki, India's largest carmaker, produces the Suzuki Swift hatchback at this plant.

Chairman R.C. Bhargava said that a skeleton staff has started a limited production at the plant where Maruti will start rolling out 150 cars a day – less than 10% of its average daily output. The intense fighting came after months of talks between workers' unions and management over the issue of raising the pay and the extensive use of contract workers.

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Maruti Suzuki wants to restore output of its most popular models in India

Maruti Suzuki India Ltd. is looking at its options to bring back the output of its most popular models as persistent labor disputes at one of its plants would intimidate the company's lead in the country. When interviewed, Chairman R.C. Bhargava said that the automaker considers the next 2 to 3 weeks to be critical as it makes the decision on whether it has to move the manufacturing to its other plant in Gurgaon after the riots on July 18 led to the shutdown of its Manesar facility.

Weeks ago, violence erupted at the factory, resulted to a manager’s death. This plant accounts for around 40% of Maruti's output such as DZire sedans and Swift hatchbacks. 

On July 28, the profit of Suzuki Motor Corp. unit fell for the fourth consecutive quarter even before the riot as it contended with a weaker rupee, increasing competition and lessening demand amid the slowest rate of economic expansion in nearly a decade.

Read the entire article Maruti Suzuki wants to restore output of its most popular models in India

Maruti Suzuki shares fall 5.4% as Manesar site is closed after deadly riot

Maruti Suzuki India Ltd. has closed a plant in Manesar, India, while an investigation continues over a riot that caused the death of one of its managers and injuries to at least 70 persons. R.C. Bhargava, chairman of Maruti Suzuki, said on July 21, 2012, that an early resumption of the operations at the factory is still not possible.

He declined to provide an estimate of how long the closure will last. The violent riot at Maruti Suzuki prompted the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry to say that what happened has undermined India's reputation as an investment destination.

R.V. Kanoria, president of the federation, said the incident is of deep concern for a country that seeks to project itself as offering an “environment that is business-friendly.” Kanoria likewise called for authorities to deal "firmly" with the situation.

Read the entire article Maruti Suzuki shares fall 5.4% as Manesar site is closed after deadly riot

Maruti/Suzuki R3 Concept gets green light for production

The production version of Maruti Suzuki’s R3 Concept may have Australia as one of its future export markets. This vehicle is the first to be designed and developed entirely by Suzuki’s Indian subsidiary. The R3 seven-seater was first shown last January at the 2010 Delhi Motor Show.

This is Maruti Suzuki’s first clean-sheet vehicle. The carmaker has confirmed that this vehicle will be released in early 2012. Sources told GoAuto that the company expects the three-row, five-door MPV to become one of its top-selling domestic models.

It’s likely that it will receive upgrades to enable it to meet international safety and emissions standards about a year after its release in India.

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Amid the drop in auto production in India due to a parts shortage, Maruti Suzuki India Ltd. said that partsmakers that can´t pay for expansion could be cut. In an Aug. 23 interview, Chairman R.C. Bhargava said that in the absence of strong balance sheets and resources, partsmakers won´t be able to expand at the same rate as Maruti.

Bhargava revealed that suppliers have told to strengthen their balance sheets or run the risk of being dropped. Vehicle production has been adversely affected by the shortage of parts such as tires, bumpers, and batteries.

In fact, carmakers (including Suzuki Motor Corp. unit and Hyundai Motor Co.) have introduced waiting lists in India. Expansion has been difficult for makers of local components because of debt levels that are twice as high as Asian suppliers levels.

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A possible fuel leak is what prompted Maruti Suzuki India to announce the recall of 100,000 of its most popular model, the A-Star hatchbacks. Maruti Suzuki India, India's top carmaker, is 54% owned by Japan's Suzuki Motor.

The hatchbacks, which are exported to Europe as the Alto, had started last November and the company has fixed about half of the total number of cars involved.

The carmaker revealed that the recall costs less than 100 million rupees ($2.2 million). According to a source, the recall includes cars sold in Europe though a tie-up with Japan's Nissan Motor Corp. under Nissan's Pixo name.

Read the entire article Maruti Suzuki recalling European Altos and Nissan Pixos due to fuel leak