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Maruti Suzuki has lost a significant amount of money due to the lockout at its Manesar facility. A day of production stoppage results in a loss of Rs. 75 crore as the Manesar plant churns out close to 1300 cars a day. This is already reflecting in the company’s estimated earnings for this fiscal. The backlog of the Swift and DZire is now close to 1.2 lakh units, which would take close to 8 months to clear. This will also result in cancellation of bookings and increased investment to boost production. Petrol cars are not selling either and Maruti Suzuki has to offer discounts to get them moving.

Maruti Suzuki has been seeing a steady decline in petrol car sales. The Alto sold 17422 units last month and is clearly loosing steam. The company knows that and is readying the Alto 800 to boost volumes in the A segment. The Alto 800 will take some time to arrive. Meanwhile Maruti Suzuki needs to revive sales of the Alto. The company can think of launching a limited edition model, which could create some excitement around the brand. Remember the Maruti Alto Xlerate, which was showcased at the 2012 Auto Expo earlier this year?

This limited edition version of the Alto is devoid of cheesy graphics. The car features a body kit, along with racing stripes, alloy wheels, rear parking sensors, rear spoiler and smoked tail lights. Power comes through a 1.0-litre K10 petrol engine, which is the less popular version of the Alto. While the 67 BHP and 90 Nm don’t really give the Alto Xlerate insane acceleration, one must not forget the low kerb weight of just 765 kgs, which gives the Alto a very good power to weight ratio. Maruti Suzuki could offer this for a premium of Rs. 10,000/- over the regular Alto K10, rather then offering discounts on the car.

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