Shortage of chips in the rearview mirror, automakers on the launch pad

Automakers are gearing up for a record number of launches in the coming months as the semiconductor shortage plaguing the industry eases.

FY23 will see an unprecedented 21 passenger vehicle launches and 17 two-wheeler launches, mostly in the upcoming holiday season.

The maximum action in the passenger vehicle market will be in the sport utility vehicle and electric vehicle segments. Some of the launches include Toyota Hyryder, Maruti Suzuki Alto, Mercedes AMG EQS 53, Audi Q3 and XUV400.

“In the automotive industry, new models are usually planned 38 to 46 months in advance. The Covid-related lockdown period has probably temporarily affected the pace of development work on new models. But with the strong rebound, both in the work environment and in the market, automotive OEMs have resumed development work on an accelerated basis. This likely explains the clustering of launches in the current year,” said Shashank Srivastava, Executive Director The company plans to launch a refreshed Alto 800, Jimny SUV, among others.

Festive fireworks

Had the semiconductor shortage continued, manufacturers would have been forced to postpone launches, Srivastava said. With the situation easing and the holiday season on the horizon, many manufacturers are making launches, he said.

Luxury carmaker Mercedes-Benz is betting big on electric vehicle launches this holiday season. “We have established a very aggressive EV roadmap for India, and at the start of this festive season we will launch two highly anticipated luxury EVs – the EQS 53 AMG performance EV and the EQS 580 luxury EV” Made in India,” said Martin Schwenk, MD and CEO, Mercedes-Benz India.

Tata Motors, which recorded record sales of over 1.3 lakh vehicles in the first quarter of FY23, is also banking on the festive season. “We have continued to introduce new products and variants at regular intervals, which has kept consumers enthusiastic about our products. We expect strong festive sales this year, starting with Onam, providing customers with a of immersive ownership both online and offline, said Rajan Amba, Vice President, Marketing, Sales and Customer Service,

Passenger vehicles.

Financiers, on the other hand, are optimistic about the launches. “This time around, the situation is a little different. In the past, as the holiday season approached, financiers and dealers worked with automotive OEMs to entice customers with incentives and incentive programs. attractive financing. This time, with stock availability being low, there is no need to offer programs,” said Ramesh Iyer, VC & MD, Mahindra Finance.

Although the demand outlook is strong, challenges on the supply side persist due to coin shortages. However, this should not impact product launch strategies.

While the gap between supply and demand will persist even through the holiday season, some manufacturers are handing out swap bounties to keep demand momentum going. “We have rolled out mainstream deals in the range of Rs 20,000 to 40,000, depending on model and trim,” said Amba of Tata Motors.

Hero MotoCorp, which faces pressure on entry-level sales, said on the product side, the company is adding new and improved products to attract customers. “With the forecast of a normal monsoon and encouraging agricultural activity, we expect a positive turnaround in market sentiment and demand,” a company spokesperson said.

Similarly, Honda Motorcycle & Scooter India (HMSI) is eyeing an entry-level low-end motorcycle in the commuter segment. “Development is proceeding as planned,” said Atsushi Ogata, Managing Director of HMSI.

Federation of Automobile Dealers Associations (FADA) President Vinkesh Gulati said the launches were a final push by makers of ICE (internal combustion engine) two-wheelers to ensure they no longer lower their prices. sales.