Even though the semiconductor shortage is easing, the waiting period for certain car models is still running into months. The Brezza, launched by Maruti Suzuki on Thursday, has a waiting period running into at least four months on the first day of launch for certain variants.
Maruti Suzuki opened the bookings of the all-new Brezza eight days ago and got 45,000 bookings till Wednesday. But the carmaker can manufacture only 10,000-12,000 units of the Brezza per month.
Shashank Srivastava, senior ED, marketing & sales, Maruti Suzuki India, told FE that even though the chip shortage has eased considerably from its peak of September 2021, the demand has increased sharply over the last few months, leading to consistently high waiting periods.
“As far as capacity utilisation is concerned, we are currently doing 95 per cent of our planned production. It had come down to 40% in September 2021, rising to 60 per cent in October, 85 per cent in November, 90 per cent in December, 92 per cent in January and February and 94 per cent in March,” Srivastava said. “It has been in the range of 94-95 per cent in April and May.”
According to the Federation of Automobile Dealers Associations (FADA), the waiting period for certain models, including Mahindra XUV700 and Thar (more than six months), Hyundai Creta (4-6 months), Tata’s electric cars (2-3 months) and most Maruti Suzuki models (2-3 months), has been running into many months.
With 45,000 bookings in eight days for the all-new Brezza, Maruti Suzuki may have to rethink the production share between models. “We would like to increase the production of the Brezza to bring down the waiting period,” Srivastava added. “With the new Brezza, we are looking to increase our market share and volumes. We are working on the timeline. We opened bookings only eight days back. Considering this huge response, we will be discussing with our production team (increasing production).
”From April 1, 2023, onwards, the government has proposed to roll out Bharat NCAP (New Car Assessment Programme), under which automobiles will be accorded star ratings based on their performance in crash tests, factoring in the existing Indian regulations and driving conditions. Srivastava said the carmaker welcomes Bharat NCAP.
“Safety is a very important criterion for us. All our products meet safety standards and some even go beyond these,” he said. “In the Brezza, for example, we have introduced more than 20 safety features and some of these are not available in any vehicle in this category.
”The Vitara Brezza was launched in March 2016 and was the first Maruti Suzuki vehicle to have been conceived, designed, and developed in India. In the SUV launched on Thursday, the name Vitara has been dropped, and it is just called the Brezza. It has been developed at a cost of Rs 760 crore (Maruti Suzuki plus its suppliers).