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Maruti Suzuki Nakanishi to say sayonara

New Delhi, Mar 18 ():Maruti Suzuki India Ltd’s Shinzo Nakanishi will be saying sayonara by March end and will be leaving with the achievement of giving India a global presence in the automobile market.

The only black spot in his career is the profitability factor and the violent labour unrest in its plant which left one of its executive dead.

He came at the age of 36 to negotiate on behalf of Suzuki to set up a joint venture with the Indian government. It got approved with R C Bhargava as Chairman and Nakanishi as MD and CEO.

Maruti Suzuki is the leader in the automobile market today and despite the entry of Korean and European auto majors, it has held the first spot. Nakanishi did not go by the practice of getting models designed in their parent plant (Hammatasu) and instead got it from Indian engineers and thereby giving fillip to local talent.

As the first Japanese MD and CEO, Nakanishi has managed to make India operations more important for Suzuki than its Japanese plant. With thirty years at the driver’s seat, he has been giving much needed concentration on R&D facility in Rohtak, Haryana to keep ahead of the competition.

Maruti which had a 50% share of the market has dropped to 32% and the sales being the worst in 12 years. Maruti can best be hoping to touch 40%. The European operation head of Suzuki, Kenchi Ayukawa will be the new MD and CEO.

Nakanishi’s career was marred by his inability to read the brewing labour unrest at Manesar plant. First was in 2011 and then again in 2012. The second violence saw the death of a human resource manager. Nakanishi decided to invest Rs 18,000 crore in Gujarat to produce three million cars and export it from 2016.

Nakanishi took charge from Jagadish Shettar in 2007 and in 2008, the depression started and the firm’s net profit was Rs. 1,731 crore; in the last 2011-2012 fiscal year, it stands at Rs. 1,635 crore when he leaves the company and profitability factor is not much but again the blame cannot be put on him, says experts. .

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