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O Suzuki takes centre stage at ACMA

Updated on: Sep 03, 2015
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Vendor selection is critical, reiterates auto industry veteran

 He spoke in Japanese with the help of an English interpreter. However, this hardly mattered as the crowd listened spellbound to the octogenarian who has steered Maruti Suzuki to the top slot in India’s competitive car arena. Osamu Suzuki was the man of the hour at the annual convention of the Automotive Component Manufacturers Association of India (ACMA) in New Delhi on Thursday.

The Chairman of Suzuki Motor Corporation recalled the time the then Maruti Udyog started operations in 1983 and it became clear that localisation was imperative for an effective cost structure.

This was the time Suzuki began investing in joint ventures with its Indian suppliers. There are 19 such entities today which form a critical part of the global supply chain. Their roles will grow in the coming years as the country meets the needs of Latin America and Africa. There are no two ways about the fact that it was the Japanese carmaker who led the creation of a robust ancillary supplier base in India.

In the process, it has emerged a global small car hub whose role will only increase in the future as more companies are using the competencies available here. Yet, O Suzuki made it clear that quality was an imperative to make this story a reality. While the Make in India slogan was fine, it made sense to look at it in a larger context with the tagline being a more expansive ‘Quality in India to Make in India’. Once this was in place, suppliers would help the country overtake China and the US in the global automobile space. The spate of vehicle recalls also reminded O Suzuki that quality was the key to success which meant that vendor selection became even more critical for an automaker.

“I request all suppliers to reinvest your profits in the same business and not in hotels or leisure,” he said to rousing applause from the audience. 

Published on January 22, 2018

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