The country’s largest carmaker Maruti Suzuki has lost its position of the second-largest exporter to another Japanese player Nissan in FY14, even as its South Korean rival Hyundai retained its position as the top car exporter in the fiscal. Hyundai is also the second-largest domestic carmaker.
Nissan exported 1.16 lakh units of the Micra hatchback and Sunny sedan in FY14 from its plant near Chennai it shares with alliance partner Renault, marking a export growth of 17.5%, while Maruti saw its exports in the financial year dip almost 16% to 1.01 lakh units. In comparison, Hyundai exported 2.33 lakh units, a drop of 10% versus the previous year.
Other major car exporters from India in FY14 were Ford (48,088 units), which saw strong overseas demand for the Figo and EcoSport, besides Volkswagen (32,588 units) and Toyota Kirloskar (27,276 units).
Maruti’s overall exports in the year were hit due to lower overseas sales for the M800 model (down 75% to 3,179 units), Alto (down 24% at 20,858 units), A-Star (down 16% to 45,193 units), Ritz (down 17% to 5,200 units) and Dzire (down 19% to 13,288 units). Exports for the Maruti Swift, however, rose sharply to 11,579 units, from 335 units in FY13 with the parent company Suzuki Motor (SMC) shifting Swift production for left-hand drive export markets from Japan to India to improve realisations and lower logistics costs.
Maruti’s exports are likely to dip further in FY15 by about 10% as it stops exports to Europe for about a year, as reported by FE earlier. Europe is a key export market with about 30% of Maruti’s annual export volumes, but with the now-stopped production of the A-Star and the European Celerio version being exported by Suzuki Thailand, it currently has no model for Europe till a new premium hatchback (Code YRA) starts local production next year.
SMC, which holds more than 56% stake in Maruti and for which about 40% of global volumes come from Maruti, has directed the company to control all of Suzuki’s operations in emerging markets. Maruti will be responsible for growth markets in Southeast Asia, South America and Africa.