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Hyundai revs up car exports

Even as Maruti continues to have a major share of the domestic car industry, Hyundai has emerged as a key player.

india Updated: Apr 15, 2006 11:41 IST

Even as Maruti Udyog Ltd (MUL) continues to have a major share of the domestic car industry, its arch rival South Korean automobile major Hyundai Motor India Ltd (HMIL) has emerged as a key player in India’s efforts to emerge as a global hub for car exports.

Though India’s exports of completely built units of cars grew by 5.92 per cent in 2005-06 to touch 1.7 lakh units, Hyundai played a substantial role in Made-in-India brand getting global acceptance.

Hyundai exported 1,02,092 units in 2005-06, an increase of 24.36 per cent over 82,093 units sold overseas in 200405. Maruti, in the same period, posted a 29.52 per cent drop in overseas sales at 33,594 units, as compared to 47,663 units in the previous fiscal, according to the latest data released by Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM).

In fact, a steep drop in Maruti exports pulled down the overall Indian automobile industry efforts to have a global footprint. Maruti hopes to substantially push exports by 2008-09. “By 2008-09, we would like to enhance exports as much as possible,” Maruti Chairman S Nakanishi told newsmen on Thursday.

He contended that the fall in exports was a result of low demand for ‘Alto’ in the European market. “The demand there has gone down and now we will make an effort to sell the model in oth er regions where right-hand drive is prevalent,” he added.

The tariff reduction on small cars, however, provides Maruti an opportunity to regain its global market share. Maruti is the biggest beneficiary of the excise duty cut as five of its products fall within the definition of small car outlined by Finance Minister P. Chidambaram.

Tata Motors, which has been making frantic efforts to make inroad in the overseas market, exported 18,531 units in 2005-06, a rise of 128.32 per cent from 8,116 units in the previous year. Ford India with exports of 15,925 units (22,625 in 2004-05) and Honda Siel 51 units (160 in previous year) also witnessed a decline in overseas sales.

In overall automobile sector export terms, the industry witnessed 28.11 per cent growth, with 8,06,494 units being sold abroad in 2005-06 compared to 6,29,544 units in the previous year.

Commercial vehicle exports rose by 35.54 per cent to 40,581 units during this period. The two-wheeler exports also crossed the 5 lakh mark for the first time clocking 5,13,256 units recording a growth rate of 40.08 per cent.