Maruti plans to establish its own R&D (Research and Development) centre in India to develop cars independently. This R&D centre would be company’s one of the largest facility outside Japan.
Maruti Suzuki is now recruiting Indian engineers working with U.S., Europe, and Japanese car manufacturers. So far the research and development of successful cars like Maruti Suzuki Swift, Dzire, and SX4 have been made in Japan by Suzuki’s engineers. A team of Indian engineers also played a role in the development of these models. Maruti was only responsible to facelift older Suzuki cars such as Zen and Omni and upgrade them to meet the new emission norms.
The new R&D centre is likely to change the scenario and major portion of the development will take place in India. A testing facility for research on safety and new technologies will also be provided at the centre.
Mr. Rao, an executive officer in research and development at MSIL said, “We are scouting for engineers and technocrats to develop teams that will enhance our competence in areas of developing new concept models for Maruti.”
The company plans to increase engineers’ count to 1,000 by 2010 to develop new cars. Until now, Maruti has concentrated on recruitment of freshers from engineering colleges, but it also planning to diversify its search for more competent auto engineers and designers.
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.” The company has committed over $ 2 billion investments for India by 2010.
Meanwhile, Maruti’s top officials are contemplating on creating specific teams like car designing, automotive styling, powertrain (engine and transmission) development, modeling, and structural designing. Currently, Maruti has 15 Japanese officials who will offer inputs on technical knowhow to develop new platforms for cars and on powertrain technologies for fuel systems like hybrid and electric vehicles.