Suzuki plant closed down after HR chief killed in riots

The top Indian carmaker Maruti Suzuki has shut one of its two factories after rioting sparked by a labour dispute killed one person and injured dozens of others.

Puneep Dhawan, a company spokesman, said yesterday the plant stopped production on Wednesday night because of fire damage caused by rioting workers. “The plant is burnt in sections. You cannot make any cars,” he said.

The body was identified as that of Awanish Kumar Dev, general manager, human resources, at the factory, according to the Press Trust of India reports

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Suzuki Regina and more wild and wacky for the upcoming Tokyo Motor Show

For a brief moment, following Japan’s March 11 earthquake and tsunami, there were fears this year’s Tokyo Motor Show might not happen. It didn’t help that even before the disaster most foreign manufacturers said they’d pull out of the event citing routinely weak import car sales.

The biennial even is back on the calendar, it turns out, and when it opens its doors, early next month, the 2011 Tokyo Motor Show will do what it is often best known for: showcase some of the wildest and wacky concept vehicles ever put on wheels — such as the new Suzuki Regina concept.

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Suzuki now discussing VW cooperation and even more ties

Suzuki Motor Corp., the Japanese automaker 20 percent owned by Volkswagen AG, is discussing the responsibilities of its partnership with Europe’s biggest carmaker while seeking other alliances.

Suzuki is talking with VW about "what the two companies agreed upon" rather than new projects or cars, Yasuhito Harayama, Suzuki executive vice president, told reporters Monday in Hamamatsu, Shizuoka Prefecture. "We can’t cooperate unless we are equal partners."

The Japanese automaker is seeking alliances after last month broadening its agreement with Fiat SpA’s Powertrain unit to supply diesel engines for the Suzuki SX4, Harayama said. Volkswagen paid $2.5 billion for the Suzuki stake in January 2010 to expand in India, where the Maruti Suzuki India Ltd. unit makes almost half the cars sold in the country.

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Negishi and Suzuki honored at Nobel Prize Award Ceremony

The Nobel Prize Award Ceremony was held at the Stockholm Concert Hall on Friday, with Japanese scientists Ei-ichi Negishi and Akira Suzuki receiving medals and diplomas in chemistry from King Carl XVI Gustaf. Negishi, 75, is a professor at Purdue University in the United States and Suzuki, 80, is a professor emeritus at Hokkaido University. The two won the 2010 Nobel Prize in chemistry along with American chemist Richard Heck, for their work on reactions to create complex organic compounds through what is called palladium-catalyzed cross coupling. Formally clad in swallowtails and white ties, the Nobel Prize winners walked onstage and seated themselves in bright red chairs as the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra played a march by Mozart.

When their names were called by an official of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, who described the achievements of each winner, Negishi and Suzuki stepped forward to receive medals engraved with Alfred Nobel’s image and diplomas from the Swedish king.

The Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2010

Organic chemistry has developed into an art form where scientists produce marvelous chemical creations in their test tubes. Mankind benefits from this in the form of medicines, ever-more precise electronics and advanced technological materials. The Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2010 awards one of the most sophisticated tools available to chemists today.

This year’s Nobel Prize in Chemistry is awarded to Richard F. Heck, Ei-ichi Negishi and Akira Suzuki for the development of palladium-catalyzed cross coupling. This chemical tool has vastly improved the possibilities for chemists to create sophisticated chemicals, for example carbon-based molecules as complex as those created by nature itself.

Carbon-based (organic) chemistry is the basis of life and is responsible for numerous fascinating natural phenomena: colour in flowers, snake poison and bacteria killing substances such as penicillin. Organic chemistry has allowed man to build on nature’s chemistry; making use of carbon’s ability to provide a stable skeleton for functional molecules. This has given mankind new medicines and revolutionary materials such as plastics.

In order to create these complex chemicals, chemists need to be able to join carbon atoms together. However, carbon is stable and carbon atoms do not easily react with one another. The first methods used by chemists to bind carbon atoms together were therefore based upon various techniques for rendering carbon more reactive. Such methods worked when creating simple molecules, but when synthesizing more complex molecules chemists ended up with too many unwanted by-products in their test tubes.

Palladium-catalyzed cross coupling solved that problem and provided chemists with a more precise and efficient tool to work with. In the Heck reaction, Negishi reaction and Suzuki reaction, carbon atoms meet on a palladium atom, whereupon their proximity to one another kick-starts the chemical reaction.

Palladium-catalyzed cross coupling is used in research worldwide, as well as in the commercial production of for example pharmaceuticals and molecules used in the electronics industry.

Suzuki to make cars in India

Suzuki Motor plans to boost its production capacity for passenger cars in India to 1.45 million vehicles a year in 2012, topping its output in Japan for the first time, a report said Wednesday.

Suzuki’s local unit, Maruti Suzuki India Ltd., will invest 2 – 4 billion yen (21 – 43 million dollars) this year to upgrade its two existing factories, increasing its capacity to 1.2 million units from about 1 million at present, the business daily Nikkei reported, citing company president Shinzo Nakanishi.

The move is aimed at maintaining Indian market share of about 50 percent amid growing demand and intensifying competition, it said.

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