The Truth About Cars » riots The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. Sat, 19 Apr 2014 16:31:39 +0000 en-US hourly 1 The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars no The Truth About Cars (The Truth About Cars) 2006-2009 The Truth About Cars The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars » riots Suzuki To Open Indian Plant With Two Guards For Every Worker Thu, 16 Aug 2012 14:23:17 +0000 The Nikkei’s good contacts to Suzuki (CEO Osamu Suzuki occasionally blogs for The Nikkei) did not fail the Tokyo wire. Yesterday it was reported on a rumor basis, today, it is officially confirmed that Maruti Suzuki will restart production at its Manesar factory on August 21, about a month after a mob killed the firm’s human resources manager and burned down parts of the factory.  The factory makes the Swift hatchback.

According to Reuters, Maruti  Suzuki will start making 150 cars a day from Tuesday with 300 workers, while 500 armed police will be on standby to ensure safety. Maruti Suzuki’s chairman, R.C. Bhargava, says the company created its own force of 100 guards in addition to existing security. This makes for two members of security forces for each worker.  Managers and supervisors will received bodyguards.

300 workers is a far cry from the former 1,700 worker level. Additional workers might be harder to find than police men. Says Reuters:

“After last month’s violence, police initially sought to detain all 2,500 workers who may have been present in the plant at the time. Most of those workers fled. Police now say only a few hundred workers may have been involved in the riot, but Maruti could face an uphill task finding enough workers to operate the plant after the violence.”


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Suzuki Said To Reopen Indian Plant While Rumors Of Leftwing Terrorist Involvement Won’t Die Wed, 15 Aug 2012 12:38:43 +0000

Maruti Suzuki “ will likely resume partial production at its violence-hit factory in Manesar, in the northern state of Haryana, by Aug. 21,” says The Nikkei [sub]. The plant remains closed since a mob killed the firm’s human resources manager and burned down parts of the factory. Fifty management personnel and 9 police officers were injured during the clashes. Mass arrests were made. Maruti Suzuki declared an indefinite lockout at the plant on July 21.

The usually well connected Tokyo wire bases its report  on a story published by the Press Trust of India and did not independently corroborate it with the good sources The Nikkei has inside Suzuki. In the past, there had been repeated stories about a reopening, which did not pan out.

The situation remains tense in the region, especially after stories about involvement of Maoist terrorist groups appeared in the media.

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Maoist Terrorists Blamed For Deadly Suzuki Riots Tue, 14 Aug 2012 09:40:01 +0000

A month after the deadly riots at Suzuki’s Manesar factory in India, Maoist extremists are being blamed for the insurrection. Maruti Suzuki Chairman R.C. Bhargava told The Nikkei [sub] that “left-wing extremists pushed the factory workers to riot.”

Bhargava refused to identify the group by name, but the Nikkei connects the readily available dots:

“He was likely referring to the Communist Party of India (Maoist), a rebel group founded in 1967 in the state of West Bengal, in eastern India. It aims to encourage a peasant uprising as part of its efforts to undermine the Indian government.”

Maoists, or “Naxalites” as they are sometimes called, are behind a series of  deadly attacks in India.  The group, estimated to have more than 20,000 members, is particularly strong in poor rural areas on India. In some parts of India, Maoist have set up parallel governments, collecting “taxes” from the rich and giving food to the poor, The Times of India says.  Recently, the group started trying to establish ties with people in labor unions in urban areas, The Nikkei learned. The Tokyo wire continues:

“Foreign companies are an ideal target for anti-capitalist Maoists. Some have theorized that the group’s members may be disguising themselves as union members at such firms.”

The Maoist angle has come up several times in the last weeks, some right after the attack. The government promised a thorough investigation.

Chairman Bhargava renewed these claims, saying hat a small group of factory workers, under the influence of leftist, anti-capitalist extremists, planned the riot to plunge the factory into turmoil. So far, they succeeded. The plant remains shuttered indefinitely, despite occasional rumors of an impending re-opening, usually spread by interested union sources.

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Rundown of Indian Press Coverage of Maruti Suzuki Riot & Lockdown: Talk of Conspiracies and Outside Influences Sat, 21 Jul 2012 18:57:54 +0000

The major Indian news operations are pretty much flooding the zone in covering the riot and lockdown at Maruti Suzuki’s Manesar plant. Besides whatever labor unrest there was at play in the Manesar factory riot, internal politics within the state of Haryana or competition with Gujurat state may have had something to do with it, with accusations of conspiracies and outside influences. Here is a rundown of the news.

Financial Express:

Maruti Suzuki Chairman: Plant will not reopen until investigation is complete and corrective steps taken to prevent reoccurrence. Production will not be moved from Manesar.

Manesar lockdown cost: $47 million/month. Production cannot practically be shifted to other plants.

Gujarat Chief Minister Modi, already on trade mission to Japan, will meet with top Suzuki brass. The Manesar riot in Haryana state will no doubt be discussed as will the state of Gujarat’s desire to be the location of new Maruti Suzuki factories.

The Manesar violence will delay Maruti Suzuki’s launch of their new 800 cc small car, more fuel efficient and more expensive than their best selling Alto.

Six sarpanches (village chiefs) near Manesar plant allege conspiracy: “The incident of fire and killing of a senior executive by workers is a part of a larger conspiracy to shift the plant from here. Gurgaon gives the maximum revenue to the state and some people might be envious of this and might be behind the incident.” Gurgaon is the industrial hub of Haryana state.

The Economic Times:

Indian Gov’t Minister: Violence at Maruti Suzuki in Manesar “will send a very wrong message to the entire world,” about doing business in India.

Haryana state Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda will meet with Maruti Suzuki Managing Director and CEO Shinzo Nakanishi to address company’s concerns.

The Times of India:

Maruti Suzuki’s CEO, Shinzo Nakanishi, takes hard line on labor violence. “There is no compromise on violence. When violence happens, we should not have any consideration for any kind of compromise.”

Maruti Suzuki chairman RC Bhargava unsure when Manesar plant will reopen and resume production. Denies that it will be closed. “How long it will take? 10 days? 15 days? I don’t know.”

Bhargava: “Talks of Maruti unit moving out of Manesar is an absolute fiction … We are not moving the plant out of Manesar. Maruti is flag-bearer of industrialization in Haryana.”

Hindustan Times:

Nakanishi takes personal responsibility for “bad dot” in Maruti Suzuki history. “It is the biggest challenge in my career. I have put a bad dot in the company’s history.”

Maruti Suzuki chairman Bhargava on violence, “Personally, it is an experience that has left me shattered.”

Haryana state government calls Manesar plant lockdown “appropriate”, says union workers were “influenced from outside”.

Bhargava calls for Haryana state to expedite investigation. Maruti Suzuki will also conduct internal inquiry.

Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM):

SIAM president condemns violence as “totally unprovoked and barbaric.”

Ronnie Schreiber edits Cars In Depth, a realistic perspective on cars & car culture and the original 3D car site. If you found this post worthwhile, you can dig deeper at Cars In Depth. If the 3D thing freaks you out, don’t worry, all the photo and video players in use at the site have mono options. Thanks  for reading – RJS

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Maruti Suzuki Locks Out Workers At Mobbed Factory Sat, 21 Jul 2012 15:33:50 +0000

Maruti Suzuki locked out the entire workforce of its Manesar factory until authorities finished their investigation of the deadly riots earlier this week. Suzuki said reopening the plant would risk lives of its employees until the workers guilty of instigating a mob are identified.

“We can’t further risk the lives of our employees and workers,” R.C. Bhargava, chairman of Maruti Suzuki told The Nikkei [sub]. “What is more important is safety of my colleagues than producing some cars to make some money.We are not in a position to start production until investigations into these shocking events are completed and corrective steps are taken.”

This decision does not come lightly. The factory makes Suzuki Maruti’s best-selling diesel cars–the Swift hatchback and the Swift Dzire sedan. Diesel cars are in high demand in India because of the significantly lower price of diesel fuel in India.



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Suzuki Riots: Police Wants To Arrest Whole Workforce, Riots Pre-Planned Fri, 20 Jul 2012 15:22:35 +0000

Police in India is seeking to arrest the entire workforce of 3,000 at the Maruti Suzuki’s Manesar factory after a Wednesday riot left a manager killed, hundreds injured and the factory torched, Reuters says.  Maruti Suzuki’s factory is closed. A lengthy shutdown that could cost $15 million a day is expected.

“Part of the manufacturing area is burned, the whole building is burned, and the people who are running the factory are injured and admitted in the hospital, so it will take a little time,” said a Maruti Suzuki official.

Meanwhile, the Hindustan Times reports allegations that the riots were pre-planned. According to the report, workers had been piling up iron rods and wooden logs and were waiting for the right moment

Maruti Suzuki also called the riots an orchestrated act of mob violence.

Labor contractor Rakesh Choudhary, who was present at the spot when the violence erupted on Wednesday said: “Wednesday’s violence was planned. The workers were planning it for a week. It started at 8.30 am when supervisor Ram Kishore Majhi went to the production unit and (worker) Jiya Lal misbehaved with him when the former asked him to behave properly”. Choudhary said it was a trivial issue and the supervisor did not use any abusive language.


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Suzuki Workers Burn Factory, Manager Killed Thu, 19 Jul 2012 14:21:53 +0000 Workers at Maruti Suzuki’s factory in Maneshar, India, ransacked and burned the factory, leaving the personnel director dead and many injured, Reuters reports.

The Manesar factory remains closed and secured by a 1,200 man police force, a day after an angry mob “armed with iron rods and door beams of cars, spread out in groups in the factory area and targeted supervisors, managers and executives… rendering many of their victims bleeding and unconscious,” Maruti said in a statement. “They also ransacked offices, broke glass panes and wantonly damaged property. Finally, they set the offices on fire.”

Human resources manager Awanish Kumar Dev was burned to death during the riot, the Japanese manager of the factory was also attacked. Fifty management personnel and 9 police officers were injured during the clashes. 90 people were arrested, with more arrests promised.

After a disciplinary incident involving one employee, “members of the senior management met the union. During the talks, the workers attacked the members of the senior management, executives and managers,” Maruti said in a statement.

Workers and their unions blame security personnel of the company. Indian police are searching for 3,000 people they want to detain, Reuters says.

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Carmakers Shutter Plants In Egypt As Riots Escalate Tue, 01 Feb 2011 15:29:17 +0000

Most automakers are suspending operations in Egypt while riots continue. Here is a list of current closures:

  • GM has halted operations at its plant near Cairo.-
  • Daimler has stopped production at its Egypt plant.
  • BMW shut down assembly in Egypt.
  • Volkswagen stopped deliveries to Egypt.
  • Nissan closed its factory in Egypt.
  • Suzuki shut down its joint-venture plant in Egypt

    Above list as per Automotive News [sub] and The Nikkei [sub]

After South Africa, Egypt is the second largest car producing nation in Africa, and is an important export destination.

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