FE Editorial : Marutiís long drive
The Financial Express: Nov 29 2012, 03:57 IST
If Maruti Suzuki India is all set to become the global small car hub for its parent Suzuki Motor Corporation, as FE reported Wednesday, itís for a good reason. Apart from the fact that the yen is making Suzukiís small car exports uncompetitiveówhich is why others like Nissan have made India the hub for some carsóthe move has been long in the making. In 2003, from a time when Maruti couldnít even change the grill on a car without Suzuki engineers getting involved, it actually designed the new-look Zen, and at a cost that was around a third lower than what it would have cost were Suzuki to be involved. While that looks like a small move today, in retrospect it was the start of a deeper integration of Marutiís R&D with Suzukiís. At that time, 40 of Marutiís engineers had been seconded to Suzukiís R&D centre in Hamamatsu, today that number is up to 250ówhile Maruti has ramped up its engineering department to 1,100 now to deal with the greater demand, this means most of Marutiís older engineers (those whoíve been around for 4-5 years) have served in the global R&D centre for anywhere between six months to two years. The new Suzuki R&D centre in Haryana, complete with a test track, was part of this process. With this integration, by the time the global Swift was being designed, it had Maruti engineers who were part of the teamóMarutiís design chief is part of the unified global R&D team
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