Auto sales fell 50% during Navratri; Semiconductor availability still unresolved: Maruti Suzuki
Vehicle sales were hit hard during Navratri due to the chip shortage. Retail sales of a few passenger car manufacturers declined by 50% during the period due to the unavailability of vehicles in the market.
Maruti’s shipments and production in September were down about 50% year-over-year.
To discuss how the holiday season has been for Maruti Suzuki, CNBC-TV18 spoke with Senior Executive Director, Company Marketing and Sales, Shashank Srivastava.
According to him, the auto industry is down about 50 percent during Navratri this year. He clarified that this is a very rough figure as there is no authentic source halfway to uncover the comparison of Navratri to Navratri.
“Last year was also a banner year in terms of sales for the industry as well as for Maruti Suzuki. In fact, it was the highest ever sales in the industry and also the highest ever for Maruti Suzuki in any month of the year, last October. So the comparison with that won’t be very flattering, especially if you look at the supply situation right now, ”he explained.
Srivastava added that at present, Maruti Suzuki has a record of pending bookings in the industry as well as for the company itself. “The industry is estimated to have close to 500,000 pending reservations. Maruti Suzuki has around 260,000, ”he said, adding that this indicates longer waiting times.
He said it was not yet clear that the semiconductor situation would become absolutely normalized.
He explained that in general what happens is that more than at the end of the year, customers who have booked their vehicles now would have some uncertainty in their minds whether they will get the vehicles during the holiday season or not. “It is becoming clear that people who book now will not get the vehicle during the holiday season due to the long list and wait times,” he said.
This, Srivastava said, would have a negative effect and consumers could delay bookings. This is probably the reason why there is a little downward trend for the reservation system in recent days.
Commenting on the availability of semiconductors, he said there was an improvement as the actual drop in September was just under 55% and for October, the company informed the stock exchange that it would be down. ‘about 40%. “I think we’ll see continuous improvement from here. But then it is very difficult to answer this question of when it will become normal because it is a global problem, the whole global supply chain is affected, ”he said.
Srivastava added that retail sales during this period were reduced probably due to the unavailability of vehicles, both in the Maruti Suzuki network and at other OEMs. This is because of the semiconductor problem the industry has been facing for the past few months, he said.
“If you look at the underlying request, that seems to be pretty decent, in the sense that if you look at proxy settings or demand overrides like reservations and inquiries, they are always positive of a year on year, almost 10 to 12% positive during this period, ”he explained, adding that the retail trade had been badly affected due to the unavailability of cars.
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(Edited by : Kanishka Sarkar)