Here’s a bit of a relief for all those of you who have booked a Swift or a Dzire. Maruti is planning to restart limited production at its Manesar factory by August 21, even as negotiations are still underway to sort out the labor unrest at its plant.
The plant has been shut for nearly a month since July 18, leading to a daily production loss of 1,700 cars. The plant has a capacity to make 5.5 lakh vehicles a year. Clashes broke out between labour and the management in which one person was killed, leading to a lockout of the plant. The plant mainly makes Swift and Dzire, two of the company’s three largest selling cars. Before the riots broke out the Dzire had a waiting period of nearly five months, which has now increased to nearly 7-9 months in some cases.
Maruti expects that nearly 40% of its potential customers may have defected to other brands owing to the uncertainty over delivery of the Swift and Dzire. Although production will be resumed, it will take at least a couple of months to reach full operating capacity, as some parts have been damaged, and some labor issues still need to be sorted out.
Maruti plans to restart sheet-metal press and welding operations initially by middle of next week, according to a report in the Japan-based Nikkei. Eventhough the plant was shut for nearly a month, production backlog is only about two-week’s worth, as the company had some inventory build up with cars stocked at dealers yards.
In July, despite the plant shutdown, the Dzire was the largest-selling sedan, selling 11,400 cars, down from 13,700 the previous month, while the Swift also sold about 11,400 cars, down from 15,700 cars the previous month.
If you’ve been waiting for your Swift or Dzire, there’s hope that your car will be delivered as promised, with a maximum delay of about an additional month from the expected date.