Carmakers’ sales numbers in India over the past twelve months may have been what’s driving the headlines lately, but there’s another set of figures that emerged from the SIAM charts at the end of FY2013-14 – exports. With so many manufacturers so heavily invested in our country with high-tech, high-volumes manufacturing and assembly operations set up, exporting cars out of India is a given, and also, big business.
The total number of passenger vehicles exported from India during the past financial year stands at 5,93,507, which is more than last year’s number, but by just around 39,000 units, or six percent. The bigger revelations come when you look at each manufacturer’s individual performance.
Hyundai may be ranked second when it comes to domestic sales in India, but it holds the number one position when it comes to exports, and has done so for eight consecutive years. In FY2013-14, the Korean carmaker exported 2,33,260 cars, the highest by a big margin. However, this is still 10.22 percent fewer units than what the company managed in the last financial year – 2,59,811 units.
The bigger news is that Nissan, a company that didn’t even feature in the top ten list of carmakers this year when it came to domestic sales, managed to knock Maruti Suzuki off the number two spot when it came to exports. It exported 1,16,314 vehicles (a 17.5 percent increase) in FY2013-14 – that’s more than three times the amount of cars it sold domestically! Nissan’s plant in Oragadam, near Chennai, exports to over 100 countries, and in November 2013 celebrated its 300,000th export – a Sunny sedan. The number of models exported from this facility are only expected to grow, with the Datsun Go being the next possible model to be sent overseas.
Maruti Suzuki meanwhile, though still the country’s biggest carmaker on domestic sales by a long way, saw a decline in its export numbers by 15.8 percent compared to the last fiscal year, with 1,01,352 units, less than a tenth of the number of cars it sold domestically. Other players with decent export numbers were Ford (48,088 units – thanks largely to the EcoSport compact SUV), Volkswagen (32,588 units – a 297 percent increase!) and Toyota (27,276 units, up 16 percent).
If there’s anything we can take away from this data, it’s that domestic sales are just one side of the story for the big carmakers. Even those car models that originate in and for the Indian market, tend to make their way to other markets as well, and not just other developing markets. Looking at the sheer numbers, a fair amount of them are manufactured here, and this added potential for revenue should only encourage more carmakers to set up shop in India. After all, it’ll make cars cheaper for us too.