Maruti Suzuki expects production to “stabilise” at its Manesar factory by next Monday (August 27) by when it would also look to add a second shift at the facility.

On Tuesday, a single morning shift (8 a.m. to 4 p.m.) saw around 100 workers and 500 employees in all (including supervisors and managers) report for duty. However, it was not clear how many cars were made on Day 1.

M.M. Singh, Maruti’s COO for Production, said the first day was used to “break the gap” with employees who had not been in contact for over a month. Two groups were called, the first focussing on re-starting the body shop and press shop.

However, sources said the output would be less than half of what Maruti had hoped to start with — about 150 cars a day. Production had been halted for over a month following the violence of July 18, which prompted the company to dismiss 500 of the 1,528 permanent workers last week.

“It was raining a lot, so I think the outcome on the first day was quite fine. We tried to have a chat and build a comfort zone. Many, who had not received the letter asking for them to return, had also turned up. By Monday, the number will stabilise,” Singh said.

With stability at Maruti critical to the economy of the entire Gurgaon-Manesar region, over 1,000 policemen and security officials stood on guard in and around the plant to avoid any disturbance to the re-start of operations.

Maruti Suzuki shares on the BSE were up 0.68 per cent to Rs 1,185.10 on Tuesday.

(This article was published on August 21, 2012)
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