Having read about the increase in waiting period for cars, he planned a purchase in advance.
“I had surveyed various showrooms and finally booked an SUV on Janmashtami,” Singh said.
“Despite insisting on delivery on Diwali, which is over two months away, the dealers have not given me a confirmation. They told me there are supply constraints due to the ongoing semiconductor shortage.” Singh hopes that luck will shine on him this festive season.
People looking to make muhurat purchases of cars this festive season — for Navratri, Dussehra, or Diwali — may not be able to drive home their new cars even if they make their bookings now. The global semiconductor shortage has caused component shortages and left dealers with shrinking inventory as passenger vehicle manufacturers have downsized production.
Semiconductors are crucial in the manufacture of electronic components such as power windows, music systems, and several controls.
According to the data released by Federation of Automobile Dealers’ Association (FADA), about 20,501 cars were retailed across Gujarat in August. While car sales grew 8.9% year-on-year, the demand has shot up so much that sales clocked an 18.97% growth against the pre-pandemic August 2019 number (17,232).
“The upcoming festival months are the peak season for car sales. Demand has begun showing positive signs, but we are unable to capitalize on it due to supply constraints,” said Jigar Vyas, CEO of an Ahmedabad-based car dealership group. Vyas added: “There is a 70% reduction in the inventory we get from the dealers while the demand is going up.”
According to car dealers, the only inventory available with them is that of entry-level cars and in some cases, mid-segment cars. The shortage is acute for SUVs, high-end sedans and other high-end cars for which the waiting time has shot up from two months to four-six months, according to industry estimates.
“Average inventory of cars held by dealers has gone down from 45 days to ten days due to the short supply from car manufacturers,” said Pranav Shah, chairman, Gujarat region, FADA.
The shortage has influenced customer preference. “Customers who wanted a specific model are now becoming flexible and turning to other brands or models,” said Jinmay Shah, business head at a city-based car dealership. “Some are also deferring purchases. So dealers are losing business.”