New Delhi, Oct 29: Maruti Suzuki is feeling the pinch of labour strikes, with about 2-4 per cent of the prospective customers of one of its successful models, Swift, deciding to cancel orders due to the long waiting period.
Alarmingly for the firm, dealers said, is the fact that around half the customers who cancelled orders have opted for rival brands such as Toyota Liva and Volkswagen Polo.
The new model of Swift, one of the top selling cars from Maruti Suzuki India (MSI), was launched in August. The firm has about one lakh undelivered booking orders of Swift.
Depending on petrol and diesel options, and geographical locations, buyers are waiting for 2-7 months to own a Swift.
“There is a huge waiting period for the Swift, mainly because of the impact on production at Manesar due to the strikes. The petrol Swift has a waiting period of about 22-24 weeks, while the diesel version currently has waiting period of about 24-26 weeks,” an executive at a Delhi-based dealership said on the condition of anonymity.
He said for the last 1-2 months, no Swift model has been delivered by the company to the showroom.
“Because of the long waiting period, many people are cancelling their bookings. In our showroom, 2-4 per cent people have cancelled their Swift bookings and shifted to other models like Ritz. Some people have even moved to other car makers,” the executive said.
Expressing similar experience, a Guwahati-based dealer said his outlet has seen 1-2 per cent of the people changing their decision from Swift to other compact cars such as Toyota's Liva and Volkswagen's Polo.
“Another 1-2 per cent of the buyers shifted to the Ritz,” the dealer said, adding that Swift was having waiting period of about 3 months for both petrol and diesel engine options.
When contacted, MSI Managing Executive Officer (Marketing and Sales) Mayank Pareek accepted that some people had cancelled their bookings while favouring other models.
“...but this percentage is very small. A total of about 2 per cent people may have cancelled their bookings in favour of other models, including those of Maruti's. We are delighted that even in the times of such situations, customers are staying with us,” he added.
Pareek said MSI currently has about one lakh undelivered Swift orders, and the car is having waiting periods of about 2 months for petrol version, while it is 4-5 months for a diesel variant.
This year MSI had witnessed three instances of labour unrests at its Manesar plant, which mainly produces the Swift. In June, a 13-day strike brought production to a standstill.
This was followed by another standoff on August 29 between the management and the workers, and which lasted for 33 days.
This month, the company again saw its workers going for a 14-day strike that ended last week after the signing of a tripartite agreement between the management, workers and Haryana government representatives.