Source: Economic Times India
Automakers are stepping up the production of lower-end models, to offset the impact on sales from a shortage of semiconductors that has affected the manufacturing of higher-end variants.Top-end and expensive models use more electronic sensors and chips than the less expensive ones. The infotainment or even the safety features in high-end models require a number of sensors. An unprecedented surge in demand for electronics and personal computers amid the pandemic has resulted in the shortage of semiconductors, which is likely to last awhile. The short supply has affected the production schedules of automakers, industry experts said.Market leader Maruti Suzuki is witnessing more traction in the lower-end variants and entry-level models as consumers want timely deliveries. Many buyers, for instance, are opting for the LXi variant of the WagonR, instead of the VXi or the ZXi that come with more premium features and so have more electronic components.“A premium sedan customer may move to a lower-end variant in order to get a faster delivery of his preferred model,” Maruti Suzuki executive director Shashank Srivastava said.As the shortage of semiconductors is expected to last through at least June, automakers, including Maruti Suzuki, Toyota Kirloskar Motor and Mahindra & Mahindra, are working with their suppliers to have a stable production schedule at their plants and protect sales numbers.