Passenger vehicle exports likely to drop this year, first time since FY11

Passenger vehicle (PV) exports are likely to witness a fall this financial year, for the first time since 2010-11, as leading exporters like Hyundai Motor India and Nissan Motor India have seen a significant drop in exports. So far, during this fiscal (April -February period), passenger vehicle exports have declined by 1.8 per cent, thanks to drop of 3.48 per cent in passenger car exports and 27.4 per cent in van exports. 

Exports for the full year 2017-18 is unlikely to recover and end on a positive note. As per Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) data sourced from Capitaline, during April to February period of 2010-11, passenger vehicle exports had dipped by 3.1 per cent. For the full year 2010-11, exports were down by 0.4 per cent. 

In the passenger car segment, Hyundai Motor India saw a 16 per cent year on year drop for the April-February period to 94,144 units as the company is focussing on meeting demand in the domestic market, even as it faces production constraints. Hyundai is servicing the Europe market from its Turkey plant and here in India, the capacity utilisation at its plants (at Chennai) is expected to touch 100 per cent in 2017-18. 

The company's domestic sales had crossed the half-a-million mark in 2016-17 (527,320 units) and the plant capacity utilisation was at 94 per cent. This year so far, Hyundai has produced 630,106 units of passenger vehicles so far and expects to cross the 700,000 mark in 2017-18. Of this, it has sold 488,232 units in the domestic market. 

A company spokesperson said, "Since inception we have clocked over 5 million units in the domestic market and 2.7 Million units in the global market. Our brands like Grand i10, Elite i20, Creta & the Next Gen Verna have created a benchmark in the domestic market and hence our focus is towards achieving customer demand in India." 

Nissan Motor, on the other hand, has seen exports of its cars dip 40 per cent year on year so far this fiscal as it moved the Micra (hatchback) base to France from India. Exports of Nissan utility vehicles remained flat at 1596 units.

Since the beginning of its operations in India, Nissan has exported over 700,000 cars to 106 countries and has always treated India as a manufacturing base for its global markets. Apart from the Micra, the company exports the Nissan Sunny, Datsun GO, Datsun GO+ and the Datsun redi-GO. The Japanese carmaker, however, has not shifted its focus from the domestic market and has recently said that by 2020 it aims to grab a five per cent share of the Indian market.

An e-mail sent to Nissan remained unanswered. 

Even smaller a exporter like Tata Motors has seen its passenger car exports halve to 1,003 units in April-Feb 2017-18 (from 2329 units last year same period). Players who have seen growth in exports of passenger cars include Maruti Suzuki, General Motors, Ford India, Volkswagen India, Toyota India. 

The utility vehicles segment has witnessed a 5.13 per cent year on year rise in exports, riding on Fiat Chrysler India's Jeep - which saw numbers swell from just 88 units in April-Feb FY17 to 5,529 units this year. Maruti Suzuki has seen a 53 per cent drop in UV exports to 4,845 units while Mahindra and Mahindra saw a 40 per cent dip. A Maruti spokesperson informed that the company has been focussing more on reducing wait periods in the domestic market and thus there has been a dip in the UV exports this fiscal. 

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