Maruti's Rohtak R&D facility to be global hub for small car design

Maruti Suzuki, the country's largest carmaker recently overtook its parent in sales. The company, is now gearing up to overtake its parent Japan's Suzuki Motor Corp in research and development (R&D).

The company plans to develop its Rohtak R&D facility, Suzuki's only research facility outside Japan into a self-reliant operation by 2012 to coincide with the introduction of its first Made-in-India small car, according to a senior executive official quoted in a ET report.

According to SY Siddiqui, head of administration, HR, IT & finance at Maruti, the report says, the target is to make the R&D capability independent and self sufficient by 2012.

Maruti has been increasing the content of Indian engineered product in new cars and the A-Star and Eeco which were showcased last month at the Auto Expo, represent the growing expertise of its technical workforce to deliver high quality engineered vehicles in India.

Maruti has provided for an expenditure of up to Rs1,500 crore at its R&D centre over the next 3-4 years, though the details of the proposed investment have not be spelt out.

Maruti sells every second car in India and in 2009 it sold 9,67,581 vehciles but global rivals such as Honda, Nissan, Toyota and Volkswagen are pushing aggressive plans to catch up. The R&D wing will therefore form a vital like in its bid to retain its competitive edge in the segment.