Photos: A slump in the auto sector and fortunes of Gurugram’s Carterpuri

Passenger vehicle sale has fallen at the fastest pace in nearly two decades, triggering major job cuts in India’s auto sector, with many units making auto parts forced to shut down. Almost 40,000-50,000 workers have reportedly been retrenched in Gurugram and Manesar in Haryana, the country’s biggest automotive hubs. Located just a couple of hundred meters from the Maruti Suzuki plant in Udyog Vihar is Carterpuri, a village that has seen its fortunes change in sync with the rise of the auto industry. A look at how this Gurugram village named after former US president Jimmy Carter, and home to thousands of autoworkers, is coping with slowdown blues.

Updated On Sep 10, 2019 12:23 PM IST 8 Photos
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An entrance to village Carterpuri, in old Gurugram. The 39th President of the United States Jimmy Carter visited this village, which was then called Daulatpur Nashirabad, in January 1978. The story goes that Carter’s mother, Bessie Lillian, had worked and lived here as a nurse during the Second World War. After his visit, the village was rechristened Carterpuri in his honour. (Sanjeev Verma / HT Photo)

An entrance to village Carterpuri, in old Gurugram. The 39th President of the United States Jimmy Carter visited this village, which was then called Daulatpur Nashirabad, in January 1978. The story goes that Carter’s mother, Bessie Lillian, had worked and lived here as a nurse during the Second World War. After his visit, the village was rechristened Carterpuri in his honour. (Sanjeev Verma / HT Photo)

Updated on Sep 10, 2019 12:23 PM IST
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Bhim Singh Yadav, a property dealer in Carterpuri near the Maruti Suzuki car factory is proud of his native village. “Our identity has been shaped by the Maruti car and Jimmy Carter,” he said. “While Carter brought name and fame, Maruti brought prosperity to our village. Our economy depends on the car company, and we are now beginning to feel the pinch of the slowdown in the auto sector.” (Sanjeev Verma / HT Photo)

Bhim Singh Yadav, a property dealer in Carterpuri near the Maruti Suzuki car factory is proud of his native village. “Our identity has been shaped by the Maruti car and Jimmy Carter,” he said. “While Carter brought name and fame, Maruti brought prosperity to our village. Our economy depends on the car company, and we are now beginning to feel the pinch of the slowdown in the auto sector.” (Sanjeev Verma / HT Photo)

Updated on Sep 10, 2019 12:23 PM IST
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Cars under production at the Maruti plant in December 1983, the year of its opening. “All of us would have remained peasants if there was no Maruti factory here,” said Malkhan Singh, who retired from Maruti Suzuki this year after almost four decades of service. Carterpuri, once a village of around 800 farmers, today has a population of about 12,000. About 10,000 are migrant workers, a majority working in Maruti and auto ancillary units. (Virendra Prabhakar / HT Archive)

Cars under production at the Maruti plant in December 1983, the year of its opening. “All of us would have remained peasants if there was no Maruti factory here,” said Malkhan Singh, who retired from Maruti Suzuki this year after almost four decades of service. Carterpuri, once a village of around 800 farmers, today has a population of about 12,000. About 10,000 are migrant workers, a majority working in Maruti and auto ancillary units. (Virendra Prabhakar / HT Archive)

Updated on Sep 10, 2019 12:23 PM IST
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As migrants flocked to Carterpuri in the late 1980s and the early 1990s, Carterpuri became a preferred housing destination., transforming from a farming village into a workers’ colony. But these days, a lot of rooms are empty. The villagers, many of whom earned as much as ₹5 lakh a month as rental income until a few months ago, blame it on the slump in the auto sector. (Sanjeev Verma / HT Photo)

As migrants flocked to Carterpuri in the late 1980s and the early 1990s, Carterpuri became a preferred housing destination., transforming from a farming village into a workers’ colony. But these days, a lot of rooms are empty. The villagers, many of whom earned as much as ₹5 lakh a month as rental income until a few months ago, blame it on the slump in the auto sector. (Sanjeev Verma / HT Photo)

Updated on Sep 10, 2019 12:23 PM IST
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The villagers say the slowdown is beginning to ruin the rental economy of the village. “Tenants are leaving our rooms like never before… There have been no takers for the vacated rooms in the past month,” said Rampal, in the courtyard of his tenement, which has over a dozen rooms. “Most of my tenants are contract or casual workers with low salaries. They cannot afford a house anywhere else.” (Sanjeev Verma / HT Photo)

The villagers say the slowdown is beginning to ruin the rental economy of the village. “Tenants are leaving our rooms like never before… There have been no takers for the vacated rooms in the past month,” said Rampal, in the courtyard of his tenement, which has over a dozen rooms. “Most of my tenants are contract or casual workers with low salaries. They cannot afford a house anywhere else.” (Sanjeev Verma / HT Photo)

Updated on Sep 10, 2019 12:23 PM IST
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Cheap labour has been a major driver of the auto sector. Auto ancillary units in Haryana are organised in an inverted pyramid --large assemblies at the top, SMEs in the middle, and small factories at the bottom. While Carterpuri is home to multiple categories of workers, the vast majority are casual and contract workers. Being told that they were being retrenched and would be called when work came is a common tale. (Parveen Kumar / HT Archive)

Cheap labour has been a major driver of the auto sector. Auto ancillary units in Haryana are organised in an inverted pyramid --large assemblies at the top, SMEs in the middle, and small factories at the bottom. While Carterpuri is home to multiple categories of workers, the vast majority are casual and contract workers. Being told that they were being retrenched and would be called when work came is a common tale. (Parveen Kumar / HT Archive)

Updated on Sep 10, 2019 12:23 PM IST
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On the periphery of the village are massive parking lots for trailers that transport Maruti cars manufactured in the Gurugram plant. These days, hundreds of drivers sit idle awaiting ‘loading’ assignments. “Earlier, we used to do at least three assignments in a month. But for the past few months, we are lucky if we get even one trip,” said Gurmeet Singh, a driver. (Sanjeev Verma / HT Photo)

On the periphery of the village are massive parking lots for trailers that transport Maruti cars manufactured in the Gurugram plant. These days, hundreds of drivers sit idle awaiting ‘loading’ assignments. “Earlier, we used to do at least three assignments in a month. But for the past few months, we are lucky if we get even one trip,” said Gurmeet Singh, a driver. (Sanjeev Verma / HT Photo)

Updated on Sep 10, 2019 12:23 PM IST
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Carterpuri residents say their fortunes are linked to that of Maruti. “Even Gurugram, now a bustling IT hub, owes its development to the economic boom brought by Maruti Suzuki,” said Bhim Singh Yadav. “If there were no Maruti here, there would be no Millennium City… We hope the auto industry is up and running again. And that is also necessary for the survival of Carterpuri as a workers’ village.” (Sanjeev Verma / HT Photo)

Carterpuri residents say their fortunes are linked to that of Maruti. “Even Gurugram, now a bustling IT hub, owes its development to the economic boom brought by Maruti Suzuki,” said Bhim Singh Yadav. “If there were no Maruti here, there would be no Millennium City… We hope the auto industry is up and running again. And that is also necessary for the survival of Carterpuri as a workers’ village.” (Sanjeev Verma / HT Photo)

Updated on Sep 10, 2019 12:23 PM IST
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