Maruti focuses on R&D for own cars


The Economic Times has reported that Maruti Suzuki, which now intends to design and develop its own cars in India, is on a headcount hunt.The car maker is reportedly scouring  the rolls of troubled automakers in the US, Europe and Japan, in a bid to pick engineers willing to move out.

The company has said that it will be do a global search for engineers and technocrats.

Maruti hopes to develop new team leaders so that the company would gain the expertise to make structural changes in its existing models.

Besides, the company would give added focus to developing new concept models, Maruti Suzuki said.

Earlier, Suzuki had said that it would invest $2 billion in India for capacity expansion and new product development, by 2010.

The company plans to increase the number of engineers it employs by at least 30 per cent. If that happens, the headcount would go up to 1,000, by 2010.

Maruti Suzuki India managing director, S Nakanishi said,  “India is Suzuki’s largest operating business, contributing more in sales and profitability than even Japan. Suzuki wants it to evolve as a full-fledged car company with capability to develop cars from scratch in future.”

Maruti, as of now, provides facelifts to existing Suzuki models such as the Zen and Omni.

The company has been involved in the upgrade of these models in terms of meeting emissions norms, and the like.

Maruti Suzuki’s R&D division has also been involved in the development of models such as the Swift, Dzire and SX4, but most of the design and development was conceived in Japan.

Maruti Suzuki’s local research and development (R&D) division is said to be one of the largest such Suzuki facility outside Japan. The company will soon be sprucing up the facility in its bid to build cars independently.

With the new decision, Maruti Suzuki’s Indian R&D centre will accomplish the design and development of small cars in India all on its own.

It has been reported that the R&D unit will boast of testing facilities, and will put into place a testing track as well.

Meanwhile, Maruti Suzuki has decided not to phase out the Maruti 800 and the Omni after all. The company will now upgrade the Maruti 800 and the Maruti Omni to meet Bharat Stage IV emission norms.

“We are working to modify the M800 and the Omni to be compliant with the Bharat Stage IV norms,” I V Rao, managing executive officer for engineering at the local unit of Suzuki Motor Corp, said.

“From the technical, engineering point of view, I am confident that the engines will be ready (on time),” he added.