The name is still Swift, but production of the new avatar of Maruti Suzuki’s best-selling premium compact is proving to be anything but that.
At a time when car sales are in the slow lane, India’s No 1 car maker has its hands full coping with pent-up demand: a week-long standoff with workers at its factory in Manesar on Delhi’s outskirts has forced it to stop bookings of the all-new Swift, which have breached the 90,000-mark in a fortnight since launch.
Over the past seven days till Sunday, only 500 cars, all Swift, have rolled out of Manesar, which should have produced some 8,400 cars in that period. On Monday, the eighth day of the impasse, 200 Swifts were produced.
Dealers across the country have stopped taking fresh bookings; they reckon the slowdown in production will result in delivery periods stretching up to eight months, and perhaps even more for select variants.
“Despite the intense curiosity for the new Swift and the car surpassing consumer expectations, we cannot take any more bookings. Deliveries in the current bank of bookings will go on till next April and even beyond,” says a Delhi-based dealer for Maruti.
Maruti officials acknowledge they have a problem at hand. “There could be issues with the dealers as the current crisis has resulted in uncertainty.
We normally give an anticipated delivery period to customers but as we are facing issues at the Manesar plant over production of the new Swift, dealers must have decided to stop taking fresh requests,” Mayank Pareek, managing executive officer (marketing & sales) said.
Maruti has witnessed a huge spurt in Swift’s demand after the refurbished car was launched on August 17.