It’s a long, excruciating wait for a new car; cancellations are up, buyer sentiment down

It’s a long, excruciating wait for a new car; cancellations are up, buyer sentiment down

It’s been an endless wait for car buyers as supply chain disruptions continue to rock the automobile industry, creating shortages through the entire line. With waiting times extending to as much as 90 weeks — or nearly two years — customers are having to deal with the prospect of not being able to get their chosen vehicles in a reasonable time. As a result, auto dealers are also facing increasing cancellation rates as customers reach the end of their patience on many occasions.

“We are seeing customer sentiment start to die out because of price increases and exorbitantly high delivery timelines,” a Delhi passenger car dealer told Mint.

Mahindra & Mahindra’s latest offering, SUV XUV700, is one of the worst-hit with long waiting times. For some of the top-end variants, waiting times are as long as 88-90 weeks while the Thar has delivery timelines extending to nearly a year.

COVID-19 lockdowns, the subsequent global breakdown of supply chains, the shortage of semiconductor chips, the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the subsequent breakdown of raw material imports have all impacted the production levels. Fresh movement restrictions in the Chinese major port of Shenzen and restrictions in Shanghai are making matters worse.

“We may not see an immediate impact on delivery timelines, but the wait to normalcy is definitely going to extend with the recent headwinds leading to chip and auto parts shortages,” a Bengaluru-based Tata Motors dealer told the Mint.

Customers need to wait 12 weeks for the compact Tata SUV Punch, six months for some variants of Volkswagen’s Tiguan, while Skoda’s Kodiaq is sold out for the year, and 2-5 months even for luxury vehicles like Audi Q5 & Q7.

Hyundai Creta has a waiting time of around 10 weeks, while Kia Sonet has a wait time of up to six months and Kia Carens’ wait time stretches to five months. Luxury SUVs like Toyota Fortuner and MG Astor both have waiting times of upwards of four months, while hatchbacks like Maruti Baleno and Tata’s Nexon have similar waiting times.