28 March 2015 09:22:53 IST

Auto-makers see export demand shifting to larger cars

CHENNAI, TAMIL NADU, 22/08/2014: Hyundai i20 elite Photo: S. Muralidhar

Country’s top manufacturer Maruti expects to see 20% rise in despatches this fiscal

Maruti Suzuki India Ltd (MSIL), whose exports have grown in the last one year, is seeing a shift in the trend. Exports of larger cars is on the rise. Other auto-makers, too, are betting big on exports of larger cars, such as compact sedans, sports utility vehicles (SUV) and multi purpose vehicles (MPV). However, the companies are not looking at newer countries for now, as markets such as West Asia and Africa are already seeing good demand for larger vehicles.

For example, Maruti earlier exported only small cars — the Alto (800 and K10) and the Swift. The company has now seen a rise in demand for the larger DZire, Ciaz and the Ertiga, which are being exported to over 100 countries.

‘Sustained efforts’ “This growth comes on account of sustained efforts in a specific direction. In line with Suzuki’s mandate to focus on developing export markets in Latin America, Africa and West Asia, Maruti is ramping up its presence in markets such as Mexico, Egypt, South Africa, Burundi, Angola and the Philippines,” a company spokesperson told BusinessLine .

The company exported 1.14 lakh cars between April last year and February, up 26 per cent compared with the same period last year. Maruti expects to close this financial year with around 20 per cent growth in exports.

Hyundai Motor Similarly, the largest exporter of passenger cars, Hyundai Motor India Ltd (HMIL), is seeing a rise in demand for compact sedans and sedans in overseas markets. It currently exports to around 85 countries across Africa, West Asia, Latin America, and the Asia-Pacific. HMIL is No 1 exporter of passenger cars from India with over 40 per cent market share.

“Export demand in the larger segments, such as Xcent compact sedan and Verna sedan, is growing in West Asian and African markets,” said Rakesh Srivastava, Senior Vice-President, Sales and Marketing, HMIL.

Though overall export numbers have declined during this period (April-February) compared with the same period last year, Srivastava said the company expects to maintain the same level during the whole year.

Ford India, which exports the Figo compact car and the compact SUV EcoSport, also reported improved numbers.

Honda Cars India, which has a miniscule share of the export market, also grew by 72 per cent between April and February with models like the Brio, the Amaze and the Mobilio despatched to South Africa and the Asia-Pacific.

Overall growth Between April 2014 and February 2015, the overall exports by all the companies grew around 6 per cent to 5,74,478 units over the corresponding previous period.