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Auto blogFri, 24 Aug 2012 18:00:00 EST
Suzuki's plant in Manesar, India builds cars for Australia, specifically its Alto small car. Or at least they were building cars before violent worker riots forced the factory to close. The plant has been idled for five weeks as a result of worker violence that led to the death of one manager and 95 injuries. The riot was spurred over a labor dispute - specifically, a gulf in salaries between temporary workers and their salaried counterparts who earn triple the contract workers' wages.
According to reports, on Tuesday, the factory re-opened with more than 1,200 police officers stationed around the plant. The staff of actual workers at the plant numbers just 75 currently, meaning the police force greatly outnumbers Suzuki employees.
The number of employees will eventually grow to 300, and the officers will run in shifts of 100 at a time, but the initial disparity of workers to police is meant as a show of force to the more than 500 permanent and 500 temporary workers who were found to be involved in a July 18 riot.
It's not what we'd call attractive, really, but at least the new S-Cross Concept is something fresh from Suzuki. Introduced to the world at the 2012 Paris Motor Show, Suzuki says the pale green machine previews its upcoming production C-segment crossover.
We hope some of its fishier elements - according to Suzie, the specially created Crystal Green Metallic body color evokes "nature in the city and the city in nature", whatever that means - remain in the conceptual pond, but either way, it's good to see that the Japanese automaker hasn't lost its will to compete in a heated segment of the market. In fact, Suzuki promises that the S-Cross "will be the first in an ambitious program of annual European model launches which Suzuki will be starting in 2013. "
What are the chances we'll see a production version of this crossover concept in the U.S.? Your Magic 8 Ball is as good as ours... In any case, feel free to peruse the press release below.
Way back in 2004, Volkswagen took umbrage with Suzuki being granted permission to use the nameplate "SWIFT GTi" for a performance variant of its small-car offering (2012 equivalent seen here). Now, eight years and surely some very steep legal bills later, VW has finally dropped its claim against Suzuki.
The General Court of the European Union stated, back in March of this year, that Suzuki's GTi registration could not be confused with VW's "Golf GTI." Volkswagen had appealed that ruling, though has now reportedly called off the dogs. In fact, Germany's Die Welt reports that the appeal has been dead for several weeks now.
This news comes amongst continued arbitration acrimony between the two automakers, all revolving around VW's forced divestiture of nearly 20-percent stake it purchased in Suzuki some two years ago.