The waiting periods for ultra popular Maruti cars such as the Baleno premium hatchback and the Vitara Brezza sub-4 meter compact SUV have now reduced due to increased outputs at Maruti Suzuki’s various factories. The company’s Hansalpur factory in Gujarat now produces 1.5 lakh units of the Baleno, and this has helped Maruti bring down waiting periods of the car from 6 to 8 months to just 8-10 weeks. Manufacturing the Baleno at Gujarat has freed up some capacity at Maruti’s Manesar and Gurgaon factories at Haryana. This has reduced waiting periods of the Vitara Brezza to 8-10 weeks.
RS Kalsi, Maruti Suzuki’s Senior Executive Director (Marketing and Sales), confirmed these developments with the following statement,
Currently it [the Gujarat factory] is in full swing in A and B shifts and in 2018-19 it will give us full production across the year. So, that would be 2.5 lakh units. This financial year we will receive 1.5 lakh units because the second shift operations [at the Gujarat plant] started only in October. At one point of time, Baleno used to have a waiting period of around 6-8 months. Now it has come down to about 8- 10 weeks. So to that it extent it has helped us. Similarly, Brezza has also come down to 8-10 weeks now There was certain element of discomfort that we are making our customers wait for such a long time for our products. So, from that point of view, the discomfort factor that we faced earlier now isn’t there.
The Baleno’s chief rival is the Hyundai Elite i20,a car that’s available with minimal waiting period. Similarly, the Vitara Brezza’s competition – the Ford EcoSport and Tata Nexon – are also available with much shorter waiting periods. This was putting pressure on Maruti to reduce waiting periods as customers unwilling to wait for long have ready options from the competition. With Maruti ramping up production, both the Vitara Brezza and Baleno are expected to enjoy even more success. The Brezza is expected to soon get a petrol engine to attract buyers seeking a petrol SUV. The Baleno isn’t likely to see any facelift or feature addition at least for a year more.