The project was met with stiff opposition from several quarters. The protests were over the funding for the project which was allegedly from ministers and businessmen. However, before the project materialised, Sanjay Gandhi died in a tragic plane crash.
The company was liquidated, but that was not the end of it. Since it held a lot of promise for India, Indira Gandhi nationalised it.
Maruti Udyog Ltd was thus established in February 1981.
"It is my desire, that this car will serve the ordinary people of India and they will have no complaint about this car. I hope it will contribute in every aspect of nation-building and will serve the Indian people," Indira Gandhi said after inaugurating the Maruti plant at Gurgaon.
Harpal Singh was the the first owner of Maruti 800. The keys of the car were handed over to him by Indira Gandhi.
Despite its tremendous success, however, it has not been an easy ride for Maruti Udyog.
Image: The first owner of Maruti 800. | Photograph, courtesy: Business Standard.
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