Sep 30, 2008

Business - Maruti Drive;Making 750 variants of one car

Just imagine the complexity of producing 750 variants of an automotive. The challenge is to meet different specifications, for diverse markets and separate brands.This is what Maruti is into. The complex process is made simple by an integrated supply chain solution developed by the car maker for not just its internal use but also to be in sync with over 200 vendors and suppliers.While 750 variants are a huge number for a single car, some of them would be cosmetic and a few others deep rooted so as to conform to different emission norms in different countries.The supply chain solution enables the concerned product reach in time, be it the type of fabric used, the audio system, the tyres or the specific engine and transmission systems. The entire inventory management has also been fully automated and integrated with its vendors.Maruti’s new car This will be the feature of the new car Maruti A-Star designed from scratch for the global market to be showcased at the Paris auto show next month. The same car will be demoed under the Suzuki brand name and also Pixo of Nissan.The car will have different avatars and different names — Alto Celerio, A-Star, Pixo — and specifications in markets it is to be sold.A spokesperson of Maruti Suzuki, the country’s largest car maker with a market share of 54 per cent, said that the Manesar plant has been designed to handle these tasks simultaneously, be it to meet the requirements of Nissan or Suzuki’s exports or sale of its new car in India.Interacting with newspersons here, the spokesperson said that the new car to be marketed next month will feature the company’s new generation K-Series engine.The nature of this complex project can be compared with the current production line of Maruti, which has 11 models with 100 variants on different assembly lines.million target With the production of A-Star in the Manesar plant, which adds up 3 lakh cars a year, Maruti Suzuki’s capacity will have a run rate of one million cars a year. “Though this production capacity addition will be for about six months during the current financial year, next year, we will be able to produce one million cars per annum,” the spokesperson explained.The company is also finalising its production plan for its newest global car model — Splash — slated for launch early next year. With production capacity going up, the wait period for Swift variants will come down, he said.

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