A Traffic Jam Of Auto Makers In India

They're pouring in money as others jump into the fray

At the Premier Automobiles Ltd. (PAL) factory on the outskirts of Bombay, there seems to be no end to the problems. The 25-year-old plant, where France's Peugeot has had a joint venture with PAL since last year, is six months behind schedule in producing Peugeot 309s, a $13,500 sedan. Provoked by a militant union leader, the workers are on strike, and production has come to a halt. Some 500 new cars sit unsellable on the factory grounds, all with missing or wrong parts. Jacques Manlay, deputy managing director at the plant, is bewildered by the situation. "Everything is an opportunity to waste time," he says wearily.

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