Maruti to announce plans for Manesar plant today
India’s largest car maker, Maruti will announce on Thursday its plans to re-open the Manesar production plant and also deliberate on its future strategy, Maruti Suzuki Chairman R C Bhargava said Wednesday, exactly a month after it faced an abrupt closure due to violence on July 18. “We will announce our plans about Manesar plant as also our future strategy to people tomorrow,” Bhargava told Deccan Herald. He, however, declined to say whether the plant will be reopened next week as reported widely by the media.
Bhargava also evaded a query on the measures the company was taking to deal with the prevailing situation where both, consumers and the company, are being badly hit. A senior official at Maruti, however, said that the company does not want to take any chance with the safety of its workers. “We will not take any decision on opening the plant till the time we are completely sure of our workers’ safety,” the official said.
He said that the company is reviewing the security situation around the plant on a day-to-day basis with the help of the Haryana government.
Manesar plant has a capacity to produce five lakh cars a year. The closure has already resulted in production losses of around 35,000 cars in about 15 working days so far. The estimated production losses are over Rs 1,800 crore so far, a senior company official said. The Haryana-based plant produces four models – Swift, Dzire, A-Star and SX4 and the booking backlog of these cars has gone up significantly, the official said. Maruti, which accounts for almost 40 per cent of all cars sold in India, has been losing out to its rivals as its popular four models are out of production since July 18. “We have not produced a single unit since July 18 due to the closure of Manesar plant,” the official said and accepted that it will take “quite some time” for normal production to resume once the plant gets operational again. He declined to comment on a query whether some of Maruti’s workers have been gone into hiding fearing action by the company or police as reported. The clashes between workers and management over pay had left one dead, scores injured.