MANESAR, INDIA – Suzuki Motor Co.’s Indian subsidiary resumed operations Tuesday at its violence-wracked plant in Manesar in the northern Indian state of Haryana after a one-month hiatus.
Maruti Suzuki India Ltd., India’s largest automaker, shut down the plant July 21, three days after worker violence led to the death of a plant manager and injured more than 100 people, including two Japanese workers.
To ensure the safety of employees, the local government is expected to post more than 500 security troops in and around the factory, while Suzuki has also stepped up security.
Maruti Suzuki’s advance plan envisages producing 150 vehicles a day, about 10 percent of the level before the violence, with some 300 workers. With an annual production capacity of 600,000 vehicles, the plant will gradually increase its workforce, according to officials at the plant.
Maruti Suzuki, which started production in 1983, is the biggest automaker in India with a market share of around 35 percent. It logged 347 billion rupees (a little less than ¥500 billion) in sales in the year ended last March, down 3.2 percent from a year earlier, and a net profit of 16.3 billion rupees (about ¥23 billion), down 28.6 percent.
Suzuki is hoping to minimize the impact of the factory halt ahead of the fall business season.
The labor unrest began July 18, triggered when a plant worker assaulted a manager. Employees and labor union members became violent after the plant worker was suspended. Police have arrested more than 150 workers, including senior officers of the employees union, for alleged involvement in the violence.
Maruti Suzuki has fired about 500 full-time employees who police investigators said were involved in the violence. It will begin interviews with contract workers in September for addition to its full-time workforce.
Ohio rolls out ’13 Accord
Honda Motor Co. began output of the all-new 2013 Accord sedan at its plant in Marysville, Ohio, on Monday, with its release in the U.S. market set for next month.
The automaker hopes the new Accord will provide an additional boost as sales recover from the impact of the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami.
The model’s ninth generation since it was launched in 1976 is equipped with an all-new engine and a continuously variable transmission, as well as improved fuel-efficiency, according to Honda.
The Accord, one of Honda’s mainstays in North America, was the second best-selling midsize sedan in the U.S. market in January-July, following Toyota Motor Corp.’s Camry.
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