Maruti calls one-day production cut as stocks pile up

Maruti Suzuki India Ltd will stop production of petrol cars at its Gurgaon plant for one day on Saturday as the country's top car maker looks to cut inventory amid slowing sales.

The production cut at the Gurgaon factory, in Haryana but close to Delhi, is only for Saturday. "There will be a one-day production suspension at the Gurgaon plant. The Manesar plant will function normally," a company official said.

Sales at Maruti, in which Japan's Suzuki Motor Corp holds a little over 50 per cent, fell 7.89 per cent in February from a year earlier, with the industry bracing for its first decline in annual sales in a decade, as sluggish economic growth continues to weigh on demand.

The company's Gurgaon plant rolls out petrol models including the M800, the Alto series, WagonR, Estillo, Dzire and Ertiga. It has a capacity to roll out between 3,500 and 4,000 units a day.

"The reason for the one-day production shut down at Gurgaon is due to market slowdown," the official said. He added that production of engines at the plant for supply to its Manesar facility would continue as usual.

In February this year, MSI had recorded domestic sales of 97,955 units compared to 1,07,653 units in the year-ago period, registering a fall of 9.01 per cent. This was partly covered by a small increase in exports.

The company's total passenger car sales in the domestic market dipped by 10.89 per cent to 83,865 units from 94,118 units in the same month of 2012.