Despite record bookings and dispatches, the estimated backlog for passenger vehicles (PVs) is close to 8.25 lakh in the festival season.

Industry veterans say long-waiting period of the vehicles is pushing eager customers to opt for easily-available variants even if they don’t have the specific features they wanted so that they bring home the car during these auspicious days (Navratras).

Growing production

“There has been record growth since July and productions are also growing, which means semi-conductor shortage must have improved. In Maruti Suzuki itself, there is a pending bookings of 4.45 lakh vehicles till today because of new launches like Brezza, Grand Vitara and Baleno. So, the demand-side bookings are high, despite the record dispatches and at the same time the industry stocks are rising...there is an estimated pending bookings of 8-8.25 lakh PVs at the moment in the industry,” Shashank Srivastava, Senior Executive Officer (Marketing and Sales), Maruti Suzuki India, told businessline.

In the July-September quarter, the industry will be crossing one-million PV sales for the first time ever. September will be the highest-ever selling month with 3.40-3.50 lakh unit sales. In July, the industry sold 3.42 lakh units and in August 3.29 lakh units in the domestic market.

“In our case, the 1-litre engine vehicles (like Alto K10, WagonR, Celerio and Espresso) are selling more and we have very small waiting period, because they need lesser number of chips. Therefore, we are seeing increased production, increased wholesales and increased stock build-up, but at the same increased pending bookings because the production is not exactly in-line with the underline demand pattern and that is the big challenge,” Srivastava added.

According to Myung-sik Sohn, Chief Sales Officer, Kia India, the company is already growing at around 25-30 per cent this year so far and expect to retain this momentum. He said the waiting period is averaging about four-five months. “Depending on the variant, some could go up even to seven months,” he said.

Hyundai Motor India has close to 1.37 lakh pending customer bookings. The recently-launched Tucson has the highest waiting period of 10-12 months followed by Creta of three-five months and between one and three months for other models.

The festival season, starting with Onam and concluding with Diwali, accounts for close to one-third of the sector’s yearly revenues.

On two-wheelers, the demand is up but still tepid in comparison to PV demand.