Maruti Suzuki has reopened its Manesar factory under a heavy police presence following the riot which shut the plant more than a month ago and cost the company more than US$250m in lost output.

Police officers are guarding the factory's main gate and there are more than 1,200 deployed around the site.

Maruti will start producing 150 cars a day, less than 10% of its average daily output before the July riot that killed a manager and injured more than 100 people.
The restart at the 550,000 vehicles-a-year plant, which builds the top-selling Swift hatchback, comes just in time for India's festival season, when people typically make expensive purchases.

The violence followed the breakdown of negotiations over increased pay and Maruti's widespread use of contract workers.

The carmaker has sacked 500 workers and said it will cease hiring contract workers after the riot.

Around 75 workers reported for duty at the factory this week out of the 300-strong workforce planned by Maruti.

The company lost US$500m in production last year because of labour unrest, damaging its dominant position at number one in the Indian car market and leading to an 11% fall in annual sales.

Maruti plans to start hiring additional employees from the beginning of September but has not said when it expects to resume full production.