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Maruti expects to resume Manesar operations in 10 days

Roudra Bhattacharya
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Announcement on investigation, production on Monday

Maruti Suzuki is expected to restart production at its Manesar facility in the week starting August 20. An announcement to the effect is expected on Monday, top company officials told Business Line.

The plant, which has two production lines making about 1,900 cars a day, was shut following the July 18 violence that claimed the life of an official and injured 96 others. Maruti had declared a lockout on July 21.

“We hope to make an announcement on resuming production at Manesar on Monday (August 13). Component vendors will have to be informed to start supplies, so we will need a week to 10 days from Monday to start operations,” a Maruti official said.

The carmaker will first start Plant B, which currently makes the new Swift hatchback and is expected to shift some experienced workers from its Gurgaon plant for the same. Plant B has been chosen to run first because it is highly automated and would thus need fewer workers to resume operations. Resuming production of the Swift and then the Dzire would help the company meet the high demand for the diesel variants of the models. With the festival season round the corner, the production halt has stretched waiting periods on both the models from 3-4 months to 5-6 months.

Investigation Report

On Monday, the company is also expected to get the report of the Special Investigation Team on the July 18 violence. Till now, the Gurgaon Police have arrested 137 workers, including 12 office-bearers of the plant union.

S.Y. Siddiqui, COO for Administration (HR, IT), said, “We will definitely review the investigation report on Monday. We will then be able to announce our estimate as to when we should be able to restart the plant.” Along with statements gathered from the injured officials, the report will help the company identify all the employees involved in the clash and take action on those who are found guilty.

The month-long closure of the plant is expected to result in about Rs 2,700-crore loss in potential revenues for the car market leader and a drop in market share from 40 to 38 per cent.

Maruti Suzuki shares on the BSE were up 1.61 per cent at Rs 1,163.50 on Friday.

roudra.b@thehindu.co.in

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated August 11, 2012)
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