DZire backlog goes up Swiftly
Maruti Suzuki India Ltd has run into a huge backlog of deliveries on its new generation sedan, the Swift DZire, report Suprotip Ghosh & Sumant Banerji.autos Updated: Aug 20, 2008 23:15 IST
When Ashok Tandon of Farrukhabad, UP, booked his Swift DZire Zxi on March 31, 2008, he was one of the first to do so at Kavisha Motors, Agra. He made a full payment of close to Rs 7.5 lakh for the car. Five months later, his “dream car” remains just that: a dream.
Maruti Suzuki India Ltd has run into a huge backlog of deliveries on its new generation sedan, the Swift DZire. The company admits that 20,000 bookings are still unserved for the DZire alone. “Since the launch on March 26, we have delivered over 22,000 DZire cars to customers,” an official email from Maruti stated. “Around 20,000 bookings are still unserved.”
When the Swift came out, dealers had said that the car had a waitlist of around two months. The DZire now has a backlog of five. In certain cases, dealers are saying that the delay could be up to nine months. “My order booking from the dealer shows an approximate delivery period of 8-9 months,” said a New Delhi-based customer.
Tandon is one of at least three people in the North and West regions not to have got deliveries of the Swift DZire. All three booked the cars in the first week of booking, starting March 26. “The dealer never told me on which date I will get the car,” said Tandon.
“There are isolated cases where people who have booked the car in the first week have not got the keys yet,” a Maruti spokesperson said. “We are working on it.”
The company is appealing to its customers to book the DZire ‘judiciously’. “The company has told its dealers to communicate correct delivery time to customers, and then accept the bookings,” the Maruti email stated. “We expect customers to take a judicious decision and book accordingly.”
The company has also decided to pay interest of 12 per cent per annum on booking amount of up to 50,000 from 16th day of the booking.
“If there is any specific case where dealer has not followed instructions from company, has not informed customers about delivery time, if such case is brought to our notice, we will take it up very seriously and get it resolved,” the email stated.
However, dealers have their hands tied, dependent as they are on deliveries from the company, said a Mumbai dealer.
According to the spokesperson, deliveries of the DZire to metro cities have just started and cars booked in April are now slowly getting to the dealerships. “Bigger dealers get more cars delivered,” said A. Sharma of Kavisha Motors. “We are getting around three to five cars a month.”
Maruti’s troubles with the Swift DZire appear to be due to a miscalculation at its production end. The Dzire, along with the Swift and the SX4 is assembled at the Manesar plant, which would only reach full capacity by 2009.
The 800, Alto, Gypsy, Omni, Zen Estilo and Wagon R are assembled in MSIL’s two-decade-old plant at Gurgaon, Haryana, which has an installed capacity of 350,000 units per annum and produces 700,000 due to extra shifts.
“Swift DZire met with an unprecedented customer response,” the email stated. “To match the demand, we have scaled up production of Swift DZire to over 4,500 units per month. We have been expanding capacity of the Manesar plant where Swift DZire is made, to reach 300,000 units per year by October this year, a year ahead of original plan.”