Labor unrest halts Maruti production, losses mount
* Local court declares Manesar strike illegalBy Henry FoyMUMBAI, Oct 14 (Reuters) - Workers at Maruti Suzuki , India’s biggest carmaker, halted production on Friday as part of a long-running dispute, a company statement said, sending the firm’s expected production losses from labour unrest in 2011 to $330 million.The losses compound the woes at Maruti, which saw a 21-percent drop in September sales as rising interest rates and vehicle costs hurt demand in the world’s second-fastest growing major auto market after China.Striking workers demanding the re-employment of sacked colleagues, who took control of Maruti’s 1,000-cars a day plant in the northern industrial hub of Manesar a week ago, stopped production on Friday.A supporting strike at a neighboring Suzuki powertrain plant halted parts supplies to Maruti’s second plant in a nearby town, shutting it down too. That plant usually makes 2,800 cars a day.The high court of the state of Haryana, home to Manesar, declared the current strike illegal on Thursday. Maruti has said it would not compromise with the workers, whom it has accused of deliberately sabotaging production and breaking an agreement signed last month.”No talks are possible as long as the striking workers are inside the factory premises,” a Maruti statement said.Maruti, 54.2-percent owned by Japan’s Suzuki Motor , has suffered a production loss of around 16,600 cars, equivalent to over $100 million, since last Friday when violent workers took control of the Manesar plant, the company said.A month-long strike at the Manesar plant that began on August 29 cost around $135 million, and a 13-day strike by 800 workers in June caused almost $95 million in lost output.Shares in the carmaker closed at 1,027 rupees ($20.91) on Friday, down 2.9 percent against a 1.2-percent rise in Mumbai’s benchmark index .Maruti shares have fallen more than 27 percent in 2011, underperforming a nearly 20-percent fall in the broader market. ($1 = 49.125 Indian Rupees)
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Is the Maruti Cervo a Worthy Competitor to the Tata Nano?
To be launched at the 12th Auto Expo Delhi, which is starting tomorrow, 5th January 2012, Maruti is keeping its fingers crossed for good market response, courtesy the Cervo and the Twin, 2 small cars that may succeed in making a BIG impact!
Maruti Suzuki’s Cervo is the new generation makeover of its best selling Maruti 800 car. With a 3 cylinder, 796cc engine, the Cervo is a cute looking car and a welcome relief from the rather commonplace M 800.
In a country obsessed with mileage, the Cervo is touted to ensure mileage of between 20 to 23 kmpl. Gearing up to maintain its supremacy in the small car, big mileage section, will the Maruti Cervo beat its competitors like the Tata Nano, the Hyundai Eon, and surge ahead fearlessly?
Let’s wait and watch … as 2012 is going to be a year of reckoning for Maruti Suzuki, especially as the Maruti Cervo is to be priced between Rs. 1.6 lakhs to Rs. 2.1 lakhs (ex-showroom).