Tuesday, 11 June 2013

Maruti Car

Once Sh Sanjay Gandhi visited Parliament Street branch of PNB. After pleasantries, there was discussion on proposal to manufacture small cars. License had been issued to him in ’71 & central govt had awarded the contract to manufacture ‘peoples’ car’. He had reportedly undergone apprenticeship in Rolls-Royce, England.

They came out after discussion & proceeded towards a car parked outside the branch. Car was very small, somewhat crude & unfinished. They had a ride in prototype of Maruti around Patel Chowk.

Subsequently, the loan of Rs.1cr each was sanctioned by PNB & Central Bank. It was to be seen whether new car could compete against Ambassador & Fiat of that time.

Project could not take off fully for one reason or the other. In June ’80 he died in an air crash. In ’81 Suzuki stepped in for collaboration & rest is history.

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