Maruti expects to clear Swift backlog by April

Roudra Bhattacharya New Delhi | Updated on November 18, 2011

Top class: The new Maruti Swift, unveiled in New Delhi in August. — Kamal Narang   -  Business Line

Second Manesar line to be fully operational by January

If you are among the one-lakh people waiting for delivery of Maruti Suzuki Swift, it may take five more months, at most. After putting its labour unrest to rest last month, the company is now looking to clear its huge order backlog by March-April next year.

“We expect to make around 18,000-20,000 Swift units a month as soon as the second line at Manesar becomes fully operational by January. It should take four-five months to clear the backlog,” Mr M M Singh, Maruti Suzuki's Managing Executive Officer for Production told Business Line.

When the new second line is fully operational, Maruti will be able to make around 2,100 units a day at Manesar (up from about 1,400 units right now). At present, the first line makes up to 1,200 units across two shifts, while the second line (running on trial) is making about 200 units.

“By January, the second line will have no bottlenecks, so I would expect capacity to go up to 800-900 units a day, depending on the demand,” Mr Singh said.

He said, “We need more manpower and have to develop the right skills to handle the new machines. We are hiring from many places while shifting workers across other lines.”

Shifting Production

The carmaker may also look to shift back Swift production from Gurgaon to Manesar, which had been divided because of high demand, following the labour trouble and production disruption since June this year. Earlier, Swift was only made at Manesar.

“Why should we incur higher costs … we would like to keep everything at one place as transporting welded body frames is expensive,” Mr Singh said.

Apart from its own problems of steady production and manpower, the company faces a lingering constraint from suppliers for a ramp-up of component supply, while diesel engines are also in shortage (making for 80 per cent of demand).

Published on November 18, 2011

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