|Car market leader, Maruti Suzuki, lovingly also referred to as the people's car-maker, completes 25 years of an illustrious history tomorrow.
On 14th December, 1983, first Maruti 800, India's iconic car rolled-off the assembly line at company's Gurgaon plant. Late Mrs. Indira Gandhi, the then Prime Minister of India, handed over keys for this car to the first Maruti customer. Since then, Maruti Suzuki has produced and sold around 75 lakh (7.5 million) cars to address the needs of customers across segments.
Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Shinzo Nakanishi, Managing Director and CEO, Maruti Suzuki India Limited said, "The Government of India had entrusted the company a responsibility of building low cost, fuel efficient cars for the people of India as also building firm foundation for the modernization and growth of Indian automobile industry. Thanks to the support of our stakeholders, we have successfully led the automobile revolution in India. It is a time for us to thank everyone who helped us in our journey so far. Now, we are positioning India as the global small car manufacturing hub, in line with the government's vision."
The Indian car industry, which was represented by two companies then, was at a volume of 40,000 cars annually. The Maruti-800, symbolizing Indian middle-class aspirations, completely revolutionized the Indian roads and ushered in an irrevocable change.
Maruti's current efforts mirror the government's vision to put India in the international map for producing compact small cars. All over the world, Suzuki is acknowledged for its know-how in producing small cars. The government's renewed focus on promoting small cars, offers a major opportunity for Maruti Suzuki.
Maruti Suzuki believes that its recent investments in two manufacturing facilities will go a long way in establishing the company and India in the global league. These include Maruti Suzuki's fourth car assembly plant and a state of the art diesel engine plant at Manesar, and the fuel-efficient KB-series engine plant at Gurgaon.
The Manesar assembly plant is rated among the best Suzuki plants worldwide. The plant is future ready and is designed to produce world-class vehicles. Maruti Suzuki also expects to scale-up exports and the new Manesar assembly plant will contribute to this effort.
In 1990's when the economy was liberalized and foreign investment allowed into India, the auto component companies, set up and nurtured by Maruti Suzuki, became the foundation for global car companies as well. These new players on the Indian automobile scene found an accomplished and experienced auto component industry, which encouraged further foreign direct investment into India.
Presently Maruti Suzuki enjoys a strong base of around 225 vendors and many of them are listed on stock exchanges. The good relationship of Maruti Suzuki with its associates provides the company an edge over its competition, giving the company the flexibility to cater to changes in market demand in minimum time.
Today, Maruti has changed the profile of the Indian market. The Swift, SX4 and recent A-star are examples of how Maruti Suzuki has brought in contemporary technology and latest designing for the Indian buyers.
Starting with the iconic Maruti 800, today, Maruti Suzuki offers 12 models with over 100 variants. The company has manufactured around seven and a half million cars in India. Of this, the Maruti 800 alone has contributed 2.7 million units since inception in December 1983. Alto, another super-popular product from the company, recently touched the magic figure of a million units. The company leads the automobile industry in India with a market share of over 54% amongst passenger cars.
The company has over 600 sales outlets in 393 towns and cities, along with 2,628 workshops covering 1,220 cities. Today, Maruti Suzuki has more than 7,100 employees.