Suzuki Motor Chairman Osamu Suzuki visited subsidiary Maruti’s troubled Manesar car factory on Monday in a “morale boosting exercise”. He also went to the Suzuki Powertrain (engine) plant next door, though the planned vendor meet did not take place.

His visit comes despite last week’s rumours that the Suzuki chief would give the same factory a miss in favour of Gujarat where Maruti’s newest facility is expected to come up by 2015-16.

"He took a walk around the shop floor at Manesar and then saw the upcoming Plant C," a source close to the development told Business Line . The Manesar facility has two operation plants, while the third Plant C is slated to start production by September next year.

Suzuki is on a week-long tour of India ending with the Maruti AGM on Tuesday (August 28). Previously, he visited the Gurgaon plant, and met both the Haryana and Gujarat Chief Ministers.

The visit by Maruti’s top boss to the plant is seen as a crucial move to encourage both workers and the supervisors towards better industrial relations. The Manesar plant had restarted operations on August 21, after being closed on July 18 after violence claimed a life of an official and injured 96 others.

The carmaker is estimated to have lost about Rs 1,400 crore largely on the production halt of popular cars such as the Swift and Dzire. Till now, 500 permanent workers have been dismissed by Maruti citing involvement in the clash.

>roudra.b@thehindu.co.in

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