UPDATE 1-India's Maruti to suspend petrol car production at Gurgaon on Saturday

Fri Mar 8, 2013 4:59am EST

(Clarifies production cut schedule)

NEW DELHI, March 8 (Reuters) - Maruti Suzuki India Ltd will suspend production of petrol cars at one of its plants on Saturday, a company executive said, as the country's top car maker looks to cut inventory amid slowing sales.

The production cut at the Gurgaon factory, near the Indian capital, is only for Saturday, said the executive at Maruti, who did not wish to be named.

Sales at Maruti, controlled by Japan's Suzuki Motor Corp. , fell 8 percent 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.

Indian car makers have been hit by high interest rates and rising fuel costs. They had hoped incentives to boost the industry would be announced in the country's budget last month, but instead saw taxes rise on some sports utility vehicles, risking growth in the market's only bright spot. (Reporting by Anurag Kotoky; editing by Malini Menon)

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