Toyota Kirloskar Motor saw a major drop in its sales volumes from 21,143 units in Mar 2013 to 9,160 units in March 2014. The company exported 954 units with the Etios badging. An important reason for this fall has been the lack of production due to a major union strike where most of the 4,300 workforce refused to get back to work.

Mr. N Raja, Senior Vice-President of Sales and Marketing said that the company started limited operations from March 18th with the help of non-unionized team members with a lot of them being supervisors.

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Toyota’s management had imposed a lockout on March 16, in its two manufacturing facilities in Karnataka claiming that the workers are threatening the management and hindering production. The union workers’ demand better wages, more holidays and better housing facilities.

The union also is demanding the Japanese auto maker to re-instate the 30 employees who had been suspended by the company, calling them most disruptive. They need to stop repeating what happened at the Maruti Suzuki plant in Manesar, Gurgaon where angry Union workers had set fire to the factory, killing one of the company officials.

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It appears that the Union leaders are right on their part with their demands as the cost of living has increased significantly but the management also has its hands tied as almost all the automobile companies are facing one of the toughest years where sales are plummeting down like an arrow shot downward!

Toyota needs to solve this mess soon so that it does not start eating into its profits. With the Etios Cross and the 2014 Corolla Altis lined up in the near future, Toyota needs to be ready to meet the demands of the customers.


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