Gurgaon: Expressing concern over the recent violent Jat quota agitation, country's largest carmaker Maruti Suzuki India Monday said the incident was disturbing even as it pledged support to make the state its engineering hub besides being a manufacturing destination.
"First let us get a small doubt or concern out of the way. This is about the recent agitation in the state. Like all well-wishers of Haryana, we were also disturbed," Maruti Suzuki India Managing Director and CEO Kenichi Ayukawa said while speaking at Happening Haryana Global Investor Summit here.
He, however, hastened to add that "we will overcome this soon and continue our march towards an ideal manufacturing destination of the country".
Last month, Maruti Suzuki India had to suspend production at its two plants in Gurgaon and Manesar for two days due to the agitation. It resulted in production loss of around 10,000 units. The two plants have a combined capacity of producing about 14 lakh cars per annum.
The violence during the agitation saw several government buildings, private shops, malls, educational institutions, hospitals and showrooms being set on fire by the hooligans. Hundreds of shops were looted and set on fire. The death toll rose to 30 in the nine-day long stir.
A trade and industry body had pegged the losses in Haryana due to the agitation at over Rs 20,000 crore. The Jat community was demanding reservation in government jobs and educational institutions.
Reiterating the company's faith in the state where it has been manufacturing cars for over three decades, Ayukawa said MSI was not planning to make Haryana an engineering hub.
"In the city of Rohtak, we have built a world class R&D centre. We have more than 1,300 engineers working only in R&D to make more exciting and more environment friendly cars to be launched in the market...So, Haryana is not only a manufacturing hub. We are making it an engineering hub also," he added.
He further said the R&D capability of the company's engineers has helped shape the first India-designed car ? the Vitara Brezza, which will be launched tomorrow.
Ayukawa said products manufactured in the two plants have also been exported to many global markets.
"Day-after-tomorrow, Suzuki, Japan will launch the Made-in-India Baleno in Japan. Thirty-five years ago Japan had come to India to make cars here. Today, for the first time Indians are going to give Made-In-India cars to Japan," he said.