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|December 25, 1999||
Angry Suzuki rejects India's request for gear-box technology
O Suzuki, president and chief executive officer, Suzuki Motor Corporation, today refused to transfer the crucial gear-box technology to Maruti Udyog Limited, stating that MUL does not require the technology as it does not manufacture gear boxes.
''Why does Maruti need gear-box technology?'' he asked, adding that MUL manufactures cars and not gear-boxes. Suzuki was talking to mediapersons after unveiling MUL's new car, the 1.1 litre Wagon-R.
Suzuki refused to comment on whether SMC would float a subsidiary to manufacture gear boxes in India.
At one point, Suzuki got angry and shouted at mediapersons as to why are they raising queries on gear box technology again and again.
The issue of transfer of gear box technology had led to deterioration of relations between the government of India and SMC, joint venture partners in MUL, during the regime of the United Front government.
Heavy Industries Minister Manohar Joshi yesterday requested Suzuki to transfer entire technology, including that of gear-boxes, to MUL to help it meet indigenisation targets.
''I have requested Suzuki to extend greater support to Maruti so that full transfer of technology takes place and indigenisation targets are achieved,'' Joshi had said.
MUL currently does not have indigenised gear box technology in any of its models. On the other hand, indigenisation level ranges between 83.30 per cent to 95 per cent in its existing models except the Baleno.
Indigenisation level in the Baleno and the Wagon-R is supposed to be quite low as MUL has signed a memorandum of understanding with the government in this regard.
On talks of alliance between General Motors and SMC, Suzuki said negotiations are on between the two companies but they do not include the Indian market.
He replied in a negative when asked whether GM, Daewoo and SMC would be merged into one company in future.
Suzuki had stated in his address at a seminar on December 23 that all automobile alliances will merge into four or five automobilie groups the world over which will be the driving force of the new millennium.
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