Octogenarian head of Suzuki Motors Osamu Suzuki was recently visiting India and the troubled Manesar car factory which witnessed clashes between the management and the labour employees. He not only boosted the morale of both the management and the labour union but also reiterated Suzuki’s faith in India. Ammar Alvi has more:
Osamu Suzuki has been with Suzuki Motors which is the fourth largest Japanese auto manufacturer since 1958. He is known as the big boss at Suzuki, and within automotive circles as a very intelligent and experienced leader. No doubt during the recent clashes which disrupted the entire production at Maruti Suzuki's plant in Manesar, Suzuki was carefully monitoring the situation from his headquarters and planning his next move. He shares a very important relation with India as this country is the biggest manufacturer of Suzuki products in the world and also one of its biggest markets. Soon when the company decided to resume production and re-start the assembly at Manesar, he decided to make a visit.
The company claimed the visit was a “morale boosting exercise”. Suzuki also went to the Suzuki Powertrain (engine) plant next door. He also took a walk around the shop floor at Manesar and then saw the upcoming Plant C. He also personally met the injured officials who had joined back work. Later he came out and made his words very clear, “We are internally trying to find out if workers were dissatisfied. In any case, Japan’s Suzuki has no plans to withdraw from India nor to stop production at Manesar. We are here for the last 30 years,” Suzuki pointed out.
The carmaker is estimated to have lost about Rs 1,400 crore due to lost production of popular cars such as the Swift and Dzire. Till now, 500 permanent workers have been dismissed by Maruti citing involvement in the clash. Maruti Suzuki India Limited (MSIL), the Joint Venture (JV) between Maruti and SMC, has revealed plans for setting up of a Rs 2,600-crore project for a new diesel plant, along with a new Research and Development (R&D) facility in Haryana by 2014. MSIL is also looking to enhance production output at its Gurgaon and Manesar units also by 2014.