Maruti to gradually dump Gurgaon for Manesar

Maruti Suzuki India, the country's biggest car maker by sales, announced on Saturday that it would shift production from one of its plants at Gurgaon –officially in Haryana, though widely perceived as a suburb of Delhi - to its factory at Manesar, 25 km to the south.

The Gurgaon facility will be gradually changed to a base for engine assembly and machining, while the automobile assembly will be integrated at Manesar, according to a press release issued by the company on Saturday.

Maruti said the Gurgaon 'Plant I' was constructed in the early 1970s and refurbished and modified before Maruti Udyog (as the company was called before Japan's Suzuki Motor Corp acquired a majority stake) began production in 1983. The almost 40-year-old building and equipment have been depreciated to a large extent. ''It is necessary to reconstruct the building and modernise the production facilities,'' the release said.

It said that since the land at the Gurgaon campus was fully used-up, the company had decided ''that facilities from Plant I in Gurgaon should be added and shifted to Manesar plant in a phased manner''.

As the shifting of production facilities will result in increased production volumes at Manesar, the company has sought further support from the Haryana government to operationalise the proposed railway siding at Manesar at the earliest, the company said.

The Gurgaon facility plant churns out some of the company's most successful cars, including the old bestseller Maruti 800, the Omni, the Versa, the Gypsy, the Ritz and the Alto. It has a capacity of over 2.50 lakh units a year. The company did not indicate production of which models would be shifted to the new production unit.