New Delhi: Embarking on its journey 25 years ago with just over 800 units, the country’s largest car maker ,Maruti Suzuki India, has driven past the milestone of producing 80 lakh cars.
Since the rollout of the first ‘Maruti 800´ from its Gurgaon plant on 14 December, 1983, the company has so far produced a total of 81,05,228 cars of its 14 models as on 31 July from its Gurgaon and Manesar facilities.
Maruti 800 alone accounts for over 27 lakh units, of which more than 25 lakh units were sold in the domestic market and the rest exported.
“It is very good to see that Maruti has been achieving many milestones in recent months. Twenty five years ago when we set out our journey, the objective was to modernise the Indian automotive industry and I think we have achieved that,” Maruti Suzuki India (MSI) chairman R C Bhargava said.
The company has passed through many memorable moments in these years and overall it was a “steady and satisfactory” journey, although with some “bumps” on the way, he added.
“Delivery of the first car by then prime minister Late Indira Gandhi was the happiest moment for me,” said Bhargava, who has been associated with the company since its inception in 1981.
In the first year of operation in 1983, the company had produced just 844 units of M800. At that time, it had an installed capacity of only 40,000 units a year.
MSI crossed the one lakh production figure in September, 1986, and touched the 40 lakh mark 20 years after in 2003.
However, the next 40 lakh units were produced within just 6 years from the two plants, which currently drive out 10 lakh cars a year from an installed capacity of just 6.5 lakh units per annum.
“In July this year, we produced 86,630 units, which is the highest ever in a month,” Bhargava said.
Over the past 25 years, MSI has contributed about Rs50,000 crore to the national exchequer. The company is currently undertaking a Rs 9,000 crore investment programme which includes adding a new facility at Manesar and increasing the capacity of the Gurgaon plant, besides ramping up R&D activities and launching new models.
The company has also seen changes within itself. From being a joint venture called Maruti Udyog Ltd, between the government and Japan’s Suzuki Motor Corp with the latter holding a minority stake of 26 per cent, it is now Maruti Suzuki India controlled by the Japanese firm.