There’s an unusual delay in the delivery of new cars as waiting periods continue to grow longer. New cars' waiting period have exponentially increased recently for almost all the popular models, both new iterations and existing ones. Although passenger car sales were already on a decline, way before the pandemic-related lockdown was announced in March last year. The unusual turn of events since the start of 2020, coupled with related lockdowns hit sales and production activity, had an immediate effect across the industry.
Another big part of the problem for the auto manufacturers was the issue to manage and optimise logistics and supplies. They were further hit with a shortage of semiconductors and raw materials, coupled with a sudden surge in demand post opening of the economy. Usually a two-four month waiting period was a norm, however, despite continual manufacturing, it has sadly resulted in frustratingly long waiting periods running into months and even a year for some.
According to TOI report, material shortages, unusual demand and launch of new models has resulted in a long queue for over 7 lakh customers awaiting vehicle delivery. Such a delay also means that they will have to shell out more for their vehicle as prices pertinent at the time of delivery will be added to the final cost.
Homegrown automaker Maruti has the highest waitlist – about 2.15 lakh, followed by Hyundai, Tata Motors and Mahindra who have a backlog of a lakh each for their top and exiting models. While, Maruti Suzuki India MD and CEO Kenichi Ayukawa has often apologised to buyers for the delays, their Director (Sales and Marketing) called the situation unprecedented. “The waiting period is across models, for almost all the manufacturers,” he told the publication.
Similarly, Hyundai MD S S Kim said that customers are always kept updated about delays and delivery dates to maintain transparency. Additionally, the global chip supply shortage has cast its shadow on the electric vehicle segment, the report mentions that companies have said that it will take time for the situation to normalise. “For electrics, the waiting period is the highest, and we are ramping up our supply chains,” Shailesh Chandra, president of Tata Motors’ passenger vehicles business told TOI.
Auto companies have been trying to ramp up production and procure chip supplies to cut down delays. They may get some respite now as the festive buying spree is over and the rush at dealerships can breathe free until the new year.