Waiting periods on diesel cars are coming down as manufacturers ramp up capacity.
Many of the diesel models are available off the shelf and even the waiting periods on top-selling models such as Maruti's Swift, Swift Dzire, Ertiga and Mahindra XUV 500 have started coming down.
Diesel cars made up 57% of all car sales in the country last month. Increasing petrol prices have led to a huge shift in demand for diesel cars over the past couple of years and brought down sales of petrol cars drastically.
Until a few months ago, almost all diesel models had long waiting lists. Not any more. According to an industry official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, the waiting period on Ertiga has fallen drastically. “Stock is available in a city like Delhi,” he said.
The same goes for XUV 500. The company ramped up monthly production to 5,000 units in October, including 4,500 units for the domestic market and 500 units for export.
“XUV 500 is available in stock, depending on colour. The average waiting on the vehicle could be six weeks now, which was previously around six months,” said Nikuj Sanghi, a Delhi-based M&M dealer.
Renault's Duster is perhaps the only model which still involves a long waiting period.
But while this is good news for those considering buying a diesel car, some experts feel the industry has reason to worry — demand for diesel cars may be slowing.
“The demand for diesel vehicles is getting almost flat on a month-on-month basis. The percentage has not grown beyond 57 in the past month. The waiting periods of most of the diesel vehicles have collapsed,” said a senior official from an auto company who did not wish to be identified.
According to Pravin Shah, chief executive, automotive division, M&M, “The demand is expected to be slow after the festive season. The demand for diesel has come to a point that it won't grow beyond the current numbers unless there are new launches. On the other hand, petrol cars might see a small jump with new launches and petrol prices coming down.”
An analyst from a domestic brokerage, however, said it was unlikely that demand for diesel vehicles would decline. “The demand is generally down after the festive season. As of now, we do not see any signs of decline in demand for diesel vehicles, but the share of diesel cars is not expected to grow beyond 60%.”