Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Maruti becomes first company to make 1 million cars in India

: March 23, 2010, is a momentous day in the history of India’s auto revolution, as the homegrown Maruti Suzuki India would enter the select club of auto manufacturers to have produced and sold 1m vehicles in a single financial year. Well, the homegrown prefix to Maruti is not out of place since the Indian government was a 50% partner with Japan’s Suzuki Motor Corp for a long time, long before the word disinvestment came into political usage, and in a way had provided this joint venture agreement protection from scrutiny by Parliamentary and several other committees. Despite these luxuries, Maruti had to face obstacles from the government babus in its 26-year long journey.

Maruti’s success also brings home a larger point that India’s bureaucrats can be some of the most able managers, as the company has largely been steered by former bureaucrats—V Krishnamurthy, RC Bhargava and Jagdish Khattar. Of the three, Bhargava’s relationship with the company continues as he currently serves as its chairman. The enterprise of these individuals was best tested because they fought on two fronts—joint secretaries housed in Udyog Bhawan and the marketplace.

The year Maruti achieves the 1m tag in a single year is, doubtless, going to be one of the best years for the country’s auto sales, breaking its previous record in the year 2006-07. Though the final figures are yet to come, it is quite clear by now that the auto industry is expected to break its boom year sales record of 10m units this fiscal at a conservative growth estimate of 10% projected by the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers.


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