TOKYO, Sept. 6 (Kyodo) — The chairman of Suzuki Motor Corp. said Thursday that daily production at its riot-ravaged plant in India will shortly reach about 800 vehicles, around half the level prior to the unrest.
Osamu Suzuki, however, told a news conference in Tokyo that it will "take a bit more time" for the plant operated by Maruti Suzuki India Ltd. in Manesar to return to full output. Before the July 19 riot, the plant produced around 1,700 units per day.
"It is problematic that the cause of the riot has not yet been identified, despite the passage of one month since the riot broke out," Suzuki added.
The plant reopened on Aug. 21, around a month after clashes between managers and workers erupted, leaving a senior plant official dead and around 90 injured.
Rioters ransacked and set fire to plant facilities after the management refused to reinstate a male worker suspended for beating up a supervisor who had reportedly made disparaging remarks to the worker, a member of a historically disadvantaged caste.
Suzuki dismissed as "unthinkable" suggestions that the violence was triggered by the supervisor's remarks or that it was instigated by a radical far-left group.
As of Tuesday, the plant in the province of Haryana, southwest of New Delhi, was producing 650 vehicles.