The board of Maruti Suzuki is likely to meet this weekend on partially restarting operations at its Manesar plant, quoting sources, an ET report said. Operations could start as early as next week, noted the report.
It may be recalled that work at the factory was stopped in the middle of July following a violent clash between a section of the workers and management, which also resulted in the death of one executive. Maruti Suzuki's vendors have been pressurising the company to restart work at Manesar, which manufactures almost 40-45 percent of the carmaker's total capacity and most of the best selling variants like Maruti Suzuki Swift.
Sources told the daily's television channel that the company has been concerned about the revenue losses of some Rs.90 crore every day due to the closure of the factory. Meanwhile, rivals are looking to cash in on the company's woes.
About half a dozen entry-level sedans will hit the Indian roads this festive season even as Maruti Suzuki Swift Dzire, the country's top-selling sedan, has gone out of production due to a lockout at Maruti Suzuki's Manesar plant following labour unrest, the report pointed out.
Tata Indigo Manza CS, GM Chevrolet Sail, Mahinda Verito compact, New Ambassador, Renault Scala and Folabord Fiesta are all likely to be rolled out in the coming weeks as carmakers vie to take the place of Dzire. Existing entry-level models such as Toyota Etios, Hyundai Accent, Tata Indigo CS and Chevrolet Avio too will be aggressively marketed as their toughest rival is already out of stock, the report said.
Analysts say this strategy may pay off, as Indian customers increasingly prefer sub-four-metre sedans to premium hatchbacks like Volkswagen Polo, Maruti Swift and Hyundai i20. The new-generation compact sedans come loaded with all the latest features and cost the same as a premium hatchback, and Swift Dzire was seen as the best in its class, added the report.