Monday, May 11, 2009

Gates re-opened

Chennai is home to several automobile companies; firms like those of the Amalgamations Group, the TVS Group, the Hinduja Group and the CK Birla Group had created a rich and diversified eco-system of automobile and auto component manufacturers in and around Chennai. Many of those firms were established long ago and have been part of the Chennai's industrial map for a long while now. A fresh impetus to Chennai's automobile manufacturing prowess came about in the mid 1990s, with the setting up of passenger vehicle units by Ford and Hyundai.

Though Ford was the earlier of the two (I believe so - there is not much separating the two, in any case), it was Hyundai that caught the imagination. The first model that rolled out of the plant at Irungattukottai was a huge success and Hyundai was off, blazing the tracks - they currently have the capacity to roll out about 400,000 vehicles a year, while Ford tops out at about half that.

Over the past few months, workers at the Hyundai plant had been agitating, demanding some concessions from the management; things came to a head towards the end of April, when a strike was called. Thankfully, it has not been allowed to prolong and the factory is back in action today, after an agreeement to this effect was reached on Friday. The picture shows a car, probably with some of the managers, entering the factory on Saturday afternoon - maybe they were getting ready to crank up the lines on Monday morning!


2 comments:

Jacob said...

Glad to hear things have settled down and the plant is underway again. The auto industry here is in pretty bad shape...

Shantaram said...

@ Jacob: Terrible, isn't it? And it is going to be a long haul for them to get back into shape...