There is a change of guard at the country’s top auto major, but at the very top is an old face again.
Marking an end of an era, Maruti Suzuki India Ltd (MSIL) on Monday announced that managing director Jagdish Khattar would be stepping down from December 18 this year on attaining the age of 65. Khattar's place in the hands-on management will be taken by Shinzo Nakanishi, who is currently the chairman of MSIL.
RC Bhargava, who is a director who was earlier Maruti’s manging director, has been named the new chairman of the board.
A former civil servant like Bhargava, Khattar joined Maruti in July 1993 as director (marketing) and went on to become executive director (marketing) in the next six years. In 1999, he was promoted as joint managing director. In 2002, Khattar was named managing director.
Announcing top management change in MSIL, Osamu Suzuki, chairman of Suzuki Motor Co, the majority shareholder in Maruti, said T. Kobayashi, currently senior managing director of MSIL, will leave as board member on December 31.
“Foreign car makers are increasing their presence in India. Maruti Suzuki cannot afford to work at the present pace,” Suzuki said.
T Ohashi, currently executive director of MSIL, will replace him on the board and be in charge of production.
Suzuki said the company will be investing $ 1.8 billion to set up a 500-acre research and development unit at Manesar, and also step up spending on marketing and production.. The company hopes to attain 1 million production by 2010-11.
The $ 1.8 billion expenditure is over and above the investment of Rs 9,000 crore till 2010 that the company had earlier announced.