Surge in car demand means waiting weeks for many models


With demand far outstretching their production due to capacity constraints, popular car models like Maruti’s Swift and Swift Dzire, Indigo Manza, Chevrolet Beat and Cruze, Volkswagen Polo and the diesel variants of Hyundai i20 and Verna have waiting periods ranging from a fortnight to nearly four months.

Expectedly, these are also the models on which there are no discounts. While the petrol variant of Swift has a waiting period of a month, there is a two-and-a-half month waiting period for its diesel counterpart and almost four months of waiting for both variants of Dzire. This is primarily because the company is also manufacturing A-Star in the Manesar plant (the other factory is at Gurgaon) to cater to the export demand. “We are bottlenecking capacity by realigning product mix at both the plants,” Mayank Pareek, executive officer (sales and marketing) had earlier said.

It is learnt that the company has shifted production of the Swift petrol to Gurgaon, thereby freeing 40,000 units per year at Manesar. Its exports (the majority being of A-Star) also rose by 126.7 per cent between April 2009 and this February, at 131,982 units. Maruti Suzuki India had recently said it would ramp up Manesar’s capacity by 250,000 units by 2012, at an investment of Rs 1,700 crore.

Neeraj Garg, member of the board and director, Volkswagen Passenger Cars, Volkswagen Group Sales India, said: “Polo is having a waiting period of about three-four months currently. We are ramping up the production of it at Chakan (near Pune) and will try to bring down the waiting period. We have confirmed bookings of 5,000 units of the Polo, with 500 units already delivered.” The Polo was launched on March 8 and is currently sold through a network of 43 dealers.

According to a Hyundai dealer, the Verna diesel has two to three weeks of waiting, while the i20 has a waiting period of three to four months. “Demand for the i20 is three to four times higher than what we anticipated. As a result, the company had ramped up production and is now working in three shifts across its two plants to roll out 4,500 units of i20 a month,” said Arvind Saxena, senior vice president, Hyundai Motor India.

The Indigo Manza, available in petrol and diesel variants, has a waiting period of nearly 45 days, while the Chevrolet Cruze and Beat have a one-month and two-month waiting period, respectively.

“Beat has been in great demand and we are operating in two shifts to roll out 4,000 to 4,500 units a month. This, along with Spark and other models, will help the company to grow in excess of 100 per cent in March, vis-à-vis 5,001 units sold in 2009,” said Ankush Arora, vice president (sales and marketing), General Motors India.

“There is a wait of six weeks for Manza and the company is trying to ramp up production to the possible extent,” a spokesperson for Tata Motors added.