Demand for Utility vehicles soars
Utility vehicle makers are ramping up capacity by up to 100%, catching up with accelerating demand for models such as Renault Duster, Maruti Suzuki Ertiga and Mahindra & Mahindra's XUV 500even as the larger automotive market remains depressed.
Executives familiar with the matter have told ET that while French manufacturer Renault is planning to double the output of its compact SUV Duster, M&M will scale up production of the XUV 500 by 25% and Maruti Suzuki is working on improving capacity even after nearly doubling the production of the Ertiga.
Renault will start producing nearly 7,500 units of the Duster every month from January, while M&M will churn out 5,000 units of the XUV 500 on a monthly basis from next month, the executives said.
They added that Maruti Suzuki, which has recently scaled up production of the Ertiga from 140-150 units a day to 270 units, is still undertaking capacity improvement measures to meet demand.
Waiting period for these vehicles ranges from three to seven months, with more than 32,000 bookings for the Ertiga, double that of the Duster's 16,000 and about 15,000 for the XUV 500.
Rajiv Mitra, vice-president, public affairs and communication, at Renault India did not comment on specific numbers, but told ET, "We were working in two shifts and we are moving to three shifts this month. In January, we might further increase capacity to meet growing demand. We expect strong demand during the coming festive season as well."