Maruti Suzuki's A-Star vehicle during its unveiling in Pragati Maidan, Delhi. A-Star, Suzuki's fifth global car model, was designed and is made only in India.  Maruti Suzuki is also Suzuki's leading research and development arm outside Japan


Relationship between the Government of India, under the United Front (India) coalition and Suzuki Motor Corporation over the joint venture was a point of heated debate in the Indian media till Suzuki Motor Corporation gained the controlling stake. This highly profitable joint venture that had a near monopolistic trade in the Indian automobile market and the nature of the partnership built up till then was the underlying reason for most issues. The success of the joint venture led Suzuki to increase its equity from 26% to 40% in 1987, and further to 50% in 1992. In 1982 both the venture partners had entered into an agreement to nominate their candidate for the post of Managing Director and every Managing Director will have a tenure of five years
R.C. Bhargava was the initial managing director of the company since the inception of the joint venture. Till today he is regarded as instrumental for the success of Maruti Suzuki. Joining in 1982 he held several key positions in the company before heading the company as Managing Director. Currently he is on the Board of Directors. After completing his five year tenure, Mr. Bhargava later assumed the office of Part-Time Chairman. The Government nominated Mr. S.S.L.N. Bhaskarudu as the Managing Director on 27 August 1997. Mr. Bhaskarudu had joined Maruti Suzuki in 1983 after spending 21 years in the Public sector undertaking Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited as General Manager. In 1987 he was promoted as Chief General Manager. In 1988 he was named Director, Productions and Projects. The next year (1989) he was named Director of Materials[clarification needed] and in 1993 he became Joint Managing Director.[citation needed]
Suzuki Motor Corporation didn't attend the Annual General Meeting of the Board with the reason of it being called on a short notice. Later Suzuki Motor Corporation went on record to state that Bhaskarudu was "incompetent" and wanted someone else. However, the Ministry of Industries, Government of India refuted the charges. Media stated from the Maruti Suzuki sources that Bhaskarudu was interested to indigenise most of components for the models including gear boxes especially for Maruti 800. Suzuki also felt that Bhaskarudu was a proxy for the Government and would not let it increase its stake in the venture. If Maruti Suzuki would have been able to indigenise gear boxes then Maruti Suzuki would have been able to manufacture all the models without the technical assistance from Suzuki. Till today the issue of localization of gear boxes is highlighted in the press.
The relations strained when Suzuki Motor Corporation moved to Delhi High Court to bring a stay order against Bhaskarudu's appointment. The issue was resolved in an out-of-court settlement and both the parties agreed that R S S L N Bhaskarudu would serve up to 31 December 1999, and from 1 January 2000, Jagdish Khattar, Executive Director of Maruti Udyog Limited would assume charges as the Managing Director. Many politicians stated in parliament that the Suzuki Motor Corporation is unwilling to localize manufacturing and reduce imports. As of 2011 Gear boxes are still imported from Japan and are assembled at the Gurgaon facility.[citation needed]


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