Global Auto Cos in In­dia Ride on Ex­ports

Ex­ports help auto gi­ants at­tain prof­itabil­ity amid slow­down in the In­dian mar­ket, even as Ja­pan’s Dat­sun plans global premiere of its small car redi-GO in In­dia and bike maker Yamaha plans to make more than 1 m units here Nis­san, Ford, Volk­swa­gen and Gene

The Economic Times - - Business Of Brands - J.Srikant@

timesin­ter­ New Delhi: The In­dian mar­ket hasn’t been too kind to auto mak­ers, but a few of them have found a way to keep their oper­a­tions sus­tain­able. Ex­ports.

In the fis­cal year ended March 31, the In­dian units of four pas­sen­ger ve­hi­cle man­u­fac­tur­ers — Nis­san Mo­tor, Ford Mo­tor, Volk­swa­gen and Gen­eral Mo­tors — ex­ported more cars and util­ity ve­hi­cles than what they sold in the lo­cal mar­ket.

Over­all, ex­ports of pas­sen­ger ve­hi­cles from In­dia grew 5.2% in the last fis­cal year to 6,53,889 units. Ex­ports, es­pe­cially for th­ese com­pa­nies, help them bet­ter utilise ca­pac­ity and at­tain prof­itabil­ity even as do­mes­tic sales re­main slug­gish.

Ex­ports grew the fastest at Gen­eral Mo­tors, as the lo­cal unit of the Amer­i­can auto gi­ant shipped more than 37,000 units from In­dia to over­seas mar­kets from April 2015 through March 2016, a 17-fold jump from the year be­fore. The Beat hatch­back is the only model yet that GM ex­ports from In­dia. It sold 32,540 ve­hi­cles in In­dia in the past fis­cal year.

Unit wise, the big­gest of the four is Ja­panese auto-maker Nis­san, with about 1.12 lakh units ex­ported. But the vol­ume was 7.2% lower than in fis­cal 2015. Over­all, Nis­san is the third high­est ex­porter from In­dia, be­hind Hyundai mo­tors and Maruti Suzuki.

The fall in ex­ports at Nis­san is in line with what its In­dia pres­i­dent, Guil­lame Si­card, said in May 2015. “The vi­sion is to aim for at least a 5% mar­ket share in In­dia. The pri­or­ity will al­ways be do­mes­tic mar­ket,” he had said.

Ford In­dia is one of the lead­ing ex­porters from In­dia, po­si­tioned just be­hind Nis­san. It also shipped nearly 1.11 lakh units, or about 36% more than the year be­fore, to for­eign mar­kets. At 83,325 units, the big­gest chunk of the ex­ports was of the EcoS­port com­pact SUV. The Figo hatch­back and the Figo As­pire com­pact sedan were the other mod­els ex­ported. Ger­man au­tomaker Volk­swa­gen, which faced one of the hard­est years glob­ally be­cause of the de­feat de­vice scan­dal, posted a nearly 9% drop in lo­cal sales in fis­cal 2015-2016. But its ex­ports grew 17% from the year be­fore to nearly 76,000 units. Mid-size sedan Vento was the most ex­ported car for the com­pany, with 63,157 units leav­ing the In­dian shores. “There are a few fac­tors that are fu­elling th­ese. One, of course, is the slow do­mes­tic mar­ket. The sec­ond fac­tor is the in­creas­ing price com­pet­i­tive­ness of the prod­ucts in the global mar­ket due to higher lo­cal (In­dia) con­tent,” said Rakesh Ba­tra, part­ner and na­tional leader-auto sec­tor, at EY.

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