Maruti Suzuki will shift production of Swift DZire, India’s largest-selling sedan, to its Gurgaon facility from Manesar, where a labour strife last month stubbed production. The country’s top carmaker will carry out layout changes at its Gurgaon plant, which has escaped any major industrial dispute in the past decade, to facilitate the sedan’s rollout.
“There are some changes in the production plan that would be carried from next week, where DZire is being shifted from Manesar to the Gurgaon plant. The Swift will continue to be manufactured at Manesar plant,” said a spokesman for Maruti, which controls about half of the country’s car market.
A 13-day workers’ strike at the Manesar facility in June, over recognition of a new union, had halted production of Maruti’s high-selling ‘Swift’ and ‘Swift DZire’ models, leading to a revenue loss of . 630 crore. Swift DZire, which is produced only at the Manesar plant, ranks fifth in sales volume after hatchbacks Alto, WagonR, i10 and Swift.
Launched in 2008, the car currently has a waiting period of almost six months. The Gurgaon plant, which produced the company’s first car in 1983, rolls out the Alto, WagonR, Estilo, Eeco and Ritz models, besides the older Omni and Gypsy. It accounted for the bulk of the 1.27 million cars the company produced last fiscal.
The Manesar plant produces the Swift and A-Star hatchbacks and the DZire and SX4 sedans. The plant produced over 300,000 cars last fiscal. The ‘Swift’ model was being produced at the Gurgaon plant till a few months back, when the company decided to shift its production and that of its sedan version 'DZire' to Manesar to meet rising domestic demand. Maruti’ sales grew 30 percent last fiscal, same as the sector’s.
The company had optimised production by rolling out specific cars from its different production lines at Gurgaon and Manesar. Now as per the new plan while DZire will be made at Gurgaon only, while Swift, which is due to a makeover with some minor changes, will be produced at Manesar only along with other cars like Sx4 and A-Star. The company will introduce a revamped version of ‘Swift’ in August. A second plant at Manesar, which is likely to be operational in September, and a third plant next year are expected to take Maruti’s cumulative production to about 1.75 million cars a year.