The passenger vehicle (PV) waiting period in the domestic market has come to the pre-Covid levels with around three lakh units in the backlog, which is an average waiting time of around 26 days, industry veterans said on Thursday.

“The good supply position, post the semiconductor crisis, has resulted in a sharp fall in waiting periods and the pending bookings in the industry. To be sure, there are some models which still have a high waiting period but that is limited to few models and is no longer the general phenomena it was in the last three years of supply constraints,” Shashank Srivastava, Senior Executive Officer, Marketing and Sales, Maruti Suzuki India (MSIL), told businessline.

The country’s number one PV maker said that the monthly retails are around 3.45 lakh now.

Inventory levels

“The inventory in the dealer network is around three lakh units, which is about 26 days of inventory (monthly retails are around 3.45 lakh). This is close to the norms of inventory and such stock levels show a return to pre-Covid normalcy,” Srivastava added.

As per the latest data shared by Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM), the total domestic wholesale (dispatches to dealers) grew around 11 per cent year-on-year to 3,70,786 units in February compared with 3,34,790 units in the corresponding month last year.

At the end of December 2023, the industry had a stock of around seven lakh PVs in the market and businessline had also reported that with the stock of PVs piling up to more than seven lakh units, companies need to manage their inventory levels and clear them at the earliest in the new year.

Federation of Automobile Dealers Associations (FADA) had said that there was a built-up stock of 60-64 days, and attention was also drawn to the challenges faced by dealerships, encompassing issues such as inventory management, especially in the PV segment, which was at an all-time high at that point in time.

However, original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) now say that the inventory levels have improved and clearing, as the sales have also picked up in the new year.

Market demand

“The waiting period in the industry has significantly reduced in recent months, as the semiconductor shortage is now a thing of the past. At Hyundai, customer is at the core of all our strategies and we have taken a very clear approach of aligning our production with market demand,” Tarun Garg, Chief Operating Officer, Hyundai Motor India (HMIL), told businessline.

Additionally, HMIL has bolstered its production capacity by 50,000 units last year at its Sriperumbudur plant in Chennai, he said.

“Most of Hyundai products are now available within two-four weeks, although certain variants especially in our newly-launched Hyundai Creta may experience longer waiting periods based on market demand. Currently, we have an order backlog of around 95,000 units,” Garg added.

According to FADA also, in the PV sector, the confluence of financial year-end buying incentives, improved availability of vehicles and seasonal factors such as marriages is likely to propel demand.