INDIA: Suzuki still committed to Maruti despite riots

By Chris Wright | 11 September 2012

Despite violent rioting which left one executive dead, Suzuki still intends to expand its operations in India.

Maruti Suzuki’s plant in Manesar was hit by riots and strikes during the summer but the Japanese company’s chief executive officer Osamu Suzuki said: “We have no intention of leaving just because the incident occurred. India is our second home, after Japan."

He revealed plans to continue expanding production of the highly popular Swift subcompact - which is exported widely - and other vehicles.

Maruti Suzuki reopened its Manesar factory three weeks ago with a heavy police presence following the riot which shut the plant in July and cost the company over US$250m in lost output.

The violence followed the breakdown of negotiations over increased pay and Maruti's widespread use of contract workers. The carmaker sacked 500 workers and said it would cease hiring contract workers after the riot.

The company lost US$500m in production last year because of labour unrest, damaging its dominant position in the Indian car market and leading to an 11% fall in annual sales.