time, sales of diesel has come down to 54 per cent," he said. MSI's share of diesel vehicle sales has fallen to 33 per cent from a peak of 38 per cent, he said.
"The assumption that diesel vehicles will drive growth is unlikely. Diesel is no longer the driver of industry as it was some time ago...Even when international crude prices come down, it is unlikely that fuel costs will come down in India due to the depreciating rupee," Bhargava added.
He said the company has been focusing on cost-saving programmes such as cutting down import content to offset the impact of rupee depreciation. It has also taken suggestions from employees on how to reduce costs.
"We have sustainable cost-saving plans, including implementation of quality circle suggestions from employees. Last fiscal, the saving from it was around Rs 350 crore from implementation of a total of 3.18 lakh suggestions from a number of employees," Bhargava said.
Stating that Maruti Suzuki India has adjusted production to align with the market demand, Bhargava admitted that contract workers have been affected.
"The company needs a little bit of flexibility and thenumber of contract workers keeps going up and down, depending on what is happening in the market," he said. After MSI started hiring contract workers directly from last year, they account for about 30 per cent of the total strength at the Manesar plant, he said.
Before the violent incidents at the Manesar plant last July, temporary workers hired through contractors accounted for about 50-55 per cent of the over 3,000 workers there.
Bhargava said the company's plant in Gujarat is coming up as planned.
"Work on the boundary wall is going on currently. Suzuki and our engineers are working on layout as well as product mix. We will start after whole planning is done."