Maruti Suzuki India (MSI), India’s largest car manufacturer has had its turmoil in the last quarter. It has been very challenging for them by having to stop the premium hatch Swift, and they have had their internal problems at one of its plants as well. The small car market, which is a huge success in India is being eyed by global auto makers all this while. Maruti Suzuki is planning to become the hub of research activities for parent Suzuki, and it is reported that the company is also planning to increase its Research and Development Department by 20%, which means they would be hiring more than 1300 people in the year 2011-2012.
The company also plans to increase spending of the R&D Team by almost ten fold, and it is in the process of working on that to improve its capability in developing a complete model here in India. According to Maruti Suzuki India (MSI) in its annual report for 2010-2011 mentioned that manpower of the company’s R&D Team would be increased from 1070 to around 1300 in the financial year 2011-2012. Also, around 102 people were hired in 2010-2011 for Maruti Suzuki India’s R&D Division according to the report.
The report also says that in order to make Maruti as the R&D hub of SMC in Asia and outside Japan, they are developing its engineering skills to develop and design cars to delight the Indian consumers. Maruti Suzuki India is currently focussing on development and design of overall body changes and newer products and also would be developing new platforms to achieve this desired goal.
The company’s R&D Team have all the capabilities of working on minor changes and carrying out co-design with Suzuki Maruti Corporation (SMC) for all new models according to Maruti Suzuki India (MSI). To make full body changes indigenously, the company’s R&D Team is on its path for acquiring capability in order to do so. The company is also planning on developing new products on its own accord as part of its underlying future projects. Alternatives in fuel options would be considered for developing more products.
Maruti Suzuki India spent nearly Rs. 416 crores on Research and Development activities according to the report, which means it spent well over two folds higher than last year where they had spent Rs. 173 crores. The company is at present investing Rs. 2500 crores a plant for its K-series engine development and planning to set up a dedicated and in-depth Research and Development hub at Rohtak to consolidate its research capabilities. The CEO and Managing Director of Maruti Suzuki India, Shinzo Nakanishi told that Indian market certainly deserves more improved and localised Research and Development capabilities to serve India more closely.
He also told that we need to develop R&D capability in India along with their suppliers irregardless of working on future CNG technology, electric cars, or the launch of new variants or models. He also says that talks are in progress with the Government and other industry players about studying the feasibility of electric vehicles mobility in India. He also told that fuel efficiency would be enhanced when working on latest technologies, and they are also dealing with the policy and industry makers to set compulsory standards for fuel efficiency in the car industry.