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Haryana Maruti's first home: Suzuki chief

autos Updated: Aug 27, 2012 00:21 IST
HT Correspondent

Ending all speculation that Maruti was driving out of Haryana and into Gujarat after the violence at its Manesar plant, Japan-based Suzuki Motor Corp chairman Osamu Suzuki on Sunday declared Haryana as his "first home".

"Gujarat is second home," added Suzuki, who met Haryana chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda earlier in the day.

The July 18 violence at the Manesar plant left a senior HR executive dead and 100 others injured.

"Although it's a union-related matter, I consider it a criminal act," Suzuki said.

"Violence is not acceptable."

Suzuki, who met Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi last week, refused to elaborate on Maruti's plans in the state.

"We have only purchased land. We can't comment," he said.

The Manesar plant reopened on August 21 and has been functioning at half its capacity, driving out 436 Swifts and Dzires as against the capacity of 900. Full production would resume in the next 7-10 days.

According to Maruti Suzuki India Ltd (MSIL) managing director and CEO Shinzo Nakanishi, "We are likely to end the August figure at 75,000 vehicles, almost the same as July and August 2011."

MSIL chairman RC Bhargava dismissed the charge that wage disparity between contract workers and regular employees had resulted in the violence.

"The difference between the starting salaries of regular employees and those on contract is less than 10%. Even this was resolved. So, we were surprised by the violence," he said.

This difference, Suzuki said, was common to Indian as well as Japanese workers.