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Maruti 's Manesar Plant may get operational next week

PTI 11 Aug 2012, 16:27:24 PM IST
New Delhi, Aug 11: Maruti Suzuki might lift the lockout at its Manesar plants and restart production as early as next week, reports ‘The Economic Times'.

A senior executive said the two plants at Manesar-where the top carmaker declared lockout on July 21 after labour unrest led to a massive violence that left one manager dead and 96 staff members injured-will be restarted in phases very soon, adding that a final call on opening all the facilities is yet to be taken.

"There is no extensive damage to any of the critical facilities like the press shop or the assembly lines. The plant is capable of producing cars with some changes needed in the plant machinery that could be gradually done as the production increases and stablises," the person said on condition of anonymity.

A Maruti Suzuki spokesman denied the development. "There is no official decision in the company to lift the lockout or restart the plant," he said.

A PTI report, meanwhile, quoted Maruti Suzuki India Chief Operating Officer (Administration) S Y Siddiqui saying the carmaker will take a decision on reopening the violence-hit plant on Monday.

"We expect the police report on violence at the plant on Monday. We will take this up along with the technical assessment report of plant and report on the state of the employees who were injured in the violence," he said.

Maruti's Manesar plants have a capacity to produce 5 lakh cars a year. The abrupt closure of the plant following the violence on July 18 has already resulted in production losses of around 27,000 cars in 19 working days so far. In rupee terms, the estimated production losses are 1,400 crore so far at 75 crore for each day.

One company official told ET that a final decision to restart production will be taken at a top-level executive meeting next week.

The person said this meting could take place on Sunday itself, but other officials said no such meeting was scheduled till late on Friday.

Maruti Suzuki assessed of the damages and losses to the two plants and the machinery last week after the facility was handed over by the Special Investigation Team of Haryana Police probing into the July 18 violence.

India's largest carmaker, which accounts for almost 40% of all cars sold in the country, has been losing out to its rivals as its popular cars Swift and Dzire are both out of production due to the closure of Manesar plants.

The booking backlog for these cars swelled to more than 1.4 lakh cars across India till Friday evening. Maruti officials did not give details of manpower to be utilised to run Manesar plants.

The company has ruled out transferring its staff from the Gurgaon facility that operates three plants. It is expected to carry out production with Manesar workers who were not involved in the violence.