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September 2, 2009

INDIA; Chairman says recession strengthened Maruti

Maruti Suzuki India Limited, India’s largest passenger car manufacturer said on Wednesday that it expects to emerge as an even stronger company by the time the economic slowdown ends.

Maruti Suzuki India on Wednesday said it expects to emerge as an even stronger company by the time the economic slowdown ends.
Chairman R C Bhargava told shareholders at the annual general meeting that the company had learnt many lessons from the worldwide recession which started in 2008.
“We have weathered the recession much better than others. We are debt free and have a healthy cash balance. We have financed all growth from internal resources. Our continuous efforts at cost cutting and improving productivity, even in the good times, helped us in making reasonable profits despite the impact of higher commodity prices and a weaker rupee”, Bhargava said.
“The Indian automobile industry has huge growth potential and Maruti Suzuki has to find and implement ways by which it can continue to be a major participant in realising this potential.
“With strong support from parent, Suzuki Motor Corporation, Japan, the company is on course to develop its ability to design compact cars. Maruti Suzuki is also building a modern R&D facility, complete with test tracks and crash test facilities at Rohtak. The company is rapidly increasing its engineering manpower, simultaneously persuading all its suppliers to also create the ability to design and develop new products in India, and to continuously upgrade component quality.” 
He also called for a higher standard of driver training and testing, noting that India’s road fatality rate was about 80 times higher than Japan’s.

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