VW to pare waiting period to 2-3 months

Written by Ronojoy Banerjee | Ronojoy Banerjee | New Delhi | Updated: Sep 14 2010, 06:09am hrs
Volkswagen India is looking to cut down the long waiting period for its models anywhere from 2-3 months in a bid to fight rising competition. The companys chief general manager (marketing) Lutz Kothe told FE that its sedan Vento, scheduled to hit the roads later this week, would be delivered to its customers in 3-4 months.

Our Chakan facility is operating in full steam...customers wont have to wait for too long for the Vento. We are going to cut the lead time (waiting period). It would be about 3-4 months in general, Kothe said. He said the company was also lining up three car launches in 2011 calendar year to create a foothold in the market. He refused to share details.

The company launched its first hatchback for the Indian roads earlier this year in the form of Polo. Despite its new age look and style, customers have been shying away from placing orders due to the 5-6 month long waiting periods. In fact there have also been instances of order cancellations by customers.

Earlier, the companys board member and director (passenger cars) Neeraj Garg had acknowledged the issue to FE. The waiting period for Polo is around 4-6 months...there have been very few cancellations (from customers) say around 30 to 40 happening from time to time. There is no seasonality for that, he had said.

Auto analyst with PricewaterhouseCoopers Abdul Majeed said that long waiting periods could compel customers to switch to another OEM. With so much of competition in the market shortening the waiting period is the key. Most of the cars are bought by first time buyers and they are not willing to wait for too long, he said.

Kothe said the company was undertaking several marketing strategies to create a niche for itself in the domestic market.

We are a big global player but still we are a new player in the Indian market. The three core areas of our company would be the innovation we bring into our products, responsiveness to customers and environment and the value of it, he said. Under its marketing strategy, the company recently launched a campaign for identifying individuals with radical ideas.