It could take also more time until Maruti, which accounted for about 28 percent of Suzuki's net profit in the fiscal year ended March 2012, can resume production at the pre-riot level of about 1,700 vehicles a day, Chairman Osamu Suzuki said on Thursday.

Maruti Suzuki reopened its Manesar factory, where it builds the best-selling Swift hatchback, in late August after labour unrest erupted into mob violence that shut the plant in July, costing India's largest carmaker more than USD 250 million in lost output.

"We want to produce about 800 to 850 vehicles (a day) in the first half of this month. As of September 4, we have reached 670 vehicles, so this is likely," Suzuki told a news conference in Tokyo.

"I think we will see some delay in the timing of the factory going back to full operation," he added.
Between 1,300 and 1,400 workers are working at the Manesar plant at the moment, Suzuki said, compared with around 4,000 workers before the riot.

To partially compensate for lost units, Maruti has shifted some production to its factory in Gurgaon, near Delhi, and is manufacturing over 550 Swift hatchbacks and DZiRE sedans per day there, a company spokesman told Reuters at a motor industry conference in India.

Maruti sold 54,154 vehicles in August, down 40.8 percent from a year earlier.


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