Bajaj Auto will continue to operate Akurdi unit


Pune : Rajiv Bajaj, managing director of Bajaj Auto Ltd (BAL), said here Wednesday that the company is not fully closing down its Akurdi plant near Pune. He clarified that only production of two-wheelers has ceased at the unit.

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He said the Akurdi unit would be utilised for research and development (R&D), including for the Bajaj-Renault alliance.

More than a thousand workers have been sitting idle since Sep 1, when BAL stopped manufacture of vehicles in the plant. Although workers are still receiving their pay, they have been agitating for restarting production.

BAL management had earlier said they stopped vehicle manufacture here due to high production costs.

BAL had given three options to the workers.

First, any worker wanting to continue to work with BAL would be employed with BAL’s dealers. Second, workers’ children who are diploma holders would be employed at the Chakan plant near Pune. Third, the management offered a voluntary retirement scheme.

Rajiv Bajaj Wednesday denied media reports about using the factory area to construct malls and other commercial buildings.

Due to the recent alliance, R&D activity at the unit would only grow, he pointed out.

He clarified that the plant would not be used for any other activity except for Bajaj Auto exclusively.

With respect to labour, Bajaj said that he had nothing against the unions and closing production was purely a business decision.

He said workers of the production unit would be paid their full salary till retirement at 60.